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Full text of "Tacitus : [in five volumes]"

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THE LIBRARY 

of 

VICTORIA UNIVERSITY 

Toronto 



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THE LOEB CLASSICAL LIBRARY 

EDITED BY 

T. E. PAGE, Lirr.D. 
E. CAPrS, PH.D., LL.D. VV. H. D. ROUSE, litt.d. 



TACITUS 
II 



TACITUS 

THE HISTORIES 

WITH AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY 

CLIFFORD H. MOORE jQfli.im 

OF HARVARD INIVERSITV 

THE ANNALS 

WITH AN ENGLISH TRANSLATION BY 
JOHN JACKSON 

IN THREE VOLUMES 

II 

HISTORIES, Books IV-V 

ANNALS, Books I-III 




LONDON : WILLIAM HEINEMANN LTD 
NEW YORK: G. R PUTNAM'S SONS 

MCMXXXI 






Printed in Great Britain 



CONTENTS 

THE HISTORIES 

PAGE 

Book IV : Text and Translatiox . . 1 

Book V : Text and Translatiok . .173 



THE ANNALS 

Book I : Text and Translation . . 225 

Book II : Text and Translation . . 383 

Book III : Text and Translation . * 521 

Maps at End — 

Two Illustrating Histories 

One (GERMAN"y) Illustrating Axnals 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 
BOOK IV 



VOL. II. 



CORNELII TACITI 

HISTORIARUM 

LIBER IV 

I. Interfecto Vitellio bellum magis desierat quam 
pax coeperat. Armati per urbem victores implaca- 
bili odio victos consectabantur : plenae caedibus 
viae, cruenta fora templaque, passim trucidatis, ut 
quemque fors ^ obtulerat. Ac mox augescente licentia 
scrutari ac protrahere abditos ; si quern procerum 
habitu et iuventa conspexerant, obtruneare nullo 
militum aut populi discrimine. Quae saevitia re- 
centibus odiis sanguine explebatur, dein verterat in 
avaritiam. Nihil usquam secretum aut clausuni 
sinebant, Vitellianos occultari simulantes. Initium 
ii perfringendarum domuum, vel si resisteretur, 
causa caedis ; nee deerat egentissimus quisque e 
plebe et pessimi servitiorum prodere ultro ditis 
dominos, alii ab amicis monstrabantur. Ubique 
lamenta, conclamationes et fortuna ^ captae urbis, 
adeo ut Othoniani Vitellianique militis invidiosa 

1 fors M^ : sors M. 
^ fortunae M. 



THE HISTORIES OF 

TACITUS 

BOOK IV 

I. The death of Vitellius was rather the end of war 
than the beginning of peace. The victors ranged 
through the city in arms, pursuing their defeated foes 
with implacable hatred : the streets were full of 
carnage, the fora and temples reeked with blood; 
they slew right and left everj'one whom chance put 
in their way. Presently, as their hcence increased, 
they began to hunt out and drag into the Ught those 
who had concealed themselves ; did they espy 
anyone who was tall and young, they cut him down, 
regardless whether he was soldier or ci\'ilian. Their 
ferocity, which found satisfaction in bloodshed while 
their hatred was fresh, turned then afterwards to 
greed. They let no place remain secret or closed, 
pretending that \itellians were in hiding. This led 
to the forcing of private houses or, if resistance was 
made, became an excuse for murder. Nor was there 
any lack of starveHngs among the mob or of the vilest 
slaves ready to betray their rich masters ; others 
were pointed out by their friends. Everywhere were 
lamentations, cries of anguish, and the misfortunes 
that befall a captured city ; so that the citizens 
actually longed for the licence of Otho's and VitelUus's 



b2 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

antea petulantia desideraretur. Duces partium 
accendendo ^ civili bello acres, temperandae victoriae 
impares, quippe inter ^ turbas et discordias pessimo 
cuique plurima vis, pax et quies bonis artibus indigent. 
II. Nomen sedemque Caesaris Domitianus acce- 
perat, nondum ad curas intentus, sed stupris et 
adulteriis filium principis agebat. Praefectura prae- 
torii penes Arrium Varum, summa potentiae in 
Primo Antonio. Is pecuniam faniiliamque e prin- 
cipis domo quasi Cremonensem praedam rapere : 
ceteri modestia vel ignobilitate ut in bello obscuri, 
ita praemiorum expertes. Civitas pavida et servitio 
parata occupari redeuntem Tarracina L. Vitellium 
cum cohortibus extinguique reliqua belli postulabat : 
praemissi Ariciam equites, agmen legionum intra 
Bovillas stetit. Nee cunctatus est Vitellius seque et 
cohortis arbitrio victoris permittere, et miles infelicia 
arma haud minus ira quam metu abiecit. Longus 
deditorum ordo saeptus armatis per urbem incessit, 
nemo supplici vultu, sed tristes et truces et adversum 
plausus ac lasciviam insultantis vulgi immobiles. 
Paucos erumpere ausos circumiecti oppressere ; " 
ceteri in custodiam conditi, nihil quisquam locutus 

^ accendo M. ^ inter Wurm : in M. 

' oppressere Faemus : pressere M. 

1 Cf. iii. 86. 

* Bovillae was ten miles from Rome on the Appian Way, 
Aricia sixteen. 



BOOK IV. i.-ii. 

soldiers, which earlier they had detested. The 
generals of the Flavian party, who had been quick 
to start the conflagration of civil war, were unequal 
to the task of controlling their victory, for in times of 
violence and ci\il strife the worst men have the 
greatest power ; peace and quiet call for honest arts. 
II. Domitian had accepted the name of Caesar 
and the imperial residence,^ ^\^th no care as yet for 
his duties ; but with debauchery and adulteries he 
played the part of an emperor's son. The prefecture 
of the Praetorian watch was held by Arrius Varus, 
but the supreme authority was exercised by An- 
tonius Primus. He appropriated money and slaves 
from the emperor's palace as if it were the booty of 
Cremona; all the other leaders, whom modesty or 
humble lineage had made obscure in war, had accord- 
ingly no share of the rewards. The citizens were 
in a state of terror and quite ready for slavery ; they 
demanded that Lucius \'itellius, who was on his way 
back from Tarracina with his cohorts, should be 
arrested and that the last embers of war should be 
extinguished : the cavalry was sent forward to 
Aricia ; the infantry rested this side of Bovillae.* 
Vitellius did not hesitate to surrender himself and 
his legions at the discretion of the victor ; his troops 
threw away their unsuccessful arms no less in anger 
than in fear. A long line of prisoners, hedged in 
by armed soldiers, advanced through the city ; no 
man had a suppliant look, but all were gloomy and 
grim ; they faced the cheers, the riot, and the mockery 
of the crowd unmoved. The few who dared to break 
out of line were killed by their guards ; all the rest 
were put in ward. No one uttered a word unworthy 
of him, and even in the midst of misfortune, all 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

indignum, et quamquam inter adversa, salva virtu tis 
fama. Dein L. Vitellius interficitur, par vitiis 
fratris, in principatu eius vigilantior, nee perinde 
prosperis socius quam adversis abstractus. 

III. Isdem diebus Lucilius Bassus cum expedite 
equite ad componendam Campaniam mittitur, dis- 
cordibus municipiorum animis magis inter semet 
quam contumacia adversus principem. Viso milite 
quies et minoribus coloniis impunitas : Capuae legio 
tertia hiemandi causa locatur et domus inlustres 
adflictae, cum contra Tarracinenses nulla ope iuva- 
rentur. Tanto proclivius est iniuriae quam beneficio 
vicem exolvere, quia gratia oneri, ultio in quaestu 
habetur. Solacio fuit servus Verginii ^ Capitonis, 
quern proditorem Tarracinensium diximus, patibulo 
adfixus in isdem anulis quos acceptos a Vitellio 
gestabat. At Romae senatus cuncta principibus 
solita Vespasiano decernit, laetus et spei certus, 
quippe sunipta per Gallias Hispaniasque civilia araia, 
motis ad bellum Germaniis, mox Illyrico, postquam 
Aegyptum ludaeam Syriamque et omnis provincias 
exercitusque lustraverant, velut expiato terrarum 
orbe cepisse finem videbantur : addidere alacritatem 

^ Vergiaii Puteolanus : Virgilii M. 

1 Cf. iu. 12. 

^ Capua was loyal to Vitellius, while Tarracina had favoured 
Vespasian. 

^ As the insignia of equestrian rank. Cf. i. 13. 

* The senatus consultum de imperio Vespasiani is still 
extant in part : C.I.L. vi. 930 ; Dessau : Ins. Lai. Sel. 244. 

^ Tacitus here thinks of the blood shed in the civil war as 
an expiation for the sins of the guilty world. In the Roman 
ceremony of the lustratio the sacrificial animals were driven 
around the people, place, or objects to be purified, their blood 

6 



BOOK IV. ii.-m. 

maintained their reputation for bravery. Next 
Lucius Vitellius was put to death. His brother's 
equal in viciousness, he was more vigilant while that 
brother was emperor; yet he was not so much 
associated in his brother's success as dragged to 
ruin by his adversity. 

III. During these same days Lucilius Bassus ^ was 
sent with a force of light armed cavalry to restore 
order in Campania, where the people of the towns 
were rather at variance with one another than 
rebellious toward the emperor. The sight of the 
soldiers restored order, and the smaller towns 
escaped punishment. Capua, however, had the 
Third legion quartered on it for the >\-inter, and its 
nobler houses were ruined ; ^ while the people of 
Tarracina, on the other hand, received no assistance : 
so much easier is it to repay injury than to reward 
kindness, for gratitude is regarded as a burden, 
revenge as gain. The Tarracines, however, found 
comfort in the fact that the slave of Verginius Capito, 
who had betrayed them, was crucified wearing the 
very rings that he had received from Vitelhus.^ But 
at Rome the senators voted to Vespasian all the \\ 
honours and privileges usually given the emperors.* ^ 
They were filled with joy and confident hope, for it 
seemed to them that civil warfare, which, breaking 
out in the Gallic and Spanish provinces, had moved 
to arms first the Germanics, then Illyricum, and 
which had traversed Egypt, Judea, Syria, and all 
provinces and armies, was now at an end, as if the 
expiation of the whole world had been completed : ^ 

thereby becoming a cleansing offering to the gods. In English 
there is no word exactly equivalent to the Latin htslrare, " to 
go around to purify." 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

Vespasiani litterae tamquam manente bello scriptae. 
Ea prima specie forma ; ceterumi ut princeps loque- 
batur, civilia de se, et de re publica ^ egregia. Nee 
senatus obsequium deerat : ipsi consulatus cum Tito 
filio, praetura Domitiano et consulare imperium 
decernuntur. 

IV. Miserat et Mucianus epistulas ad senatum, 
quae materiam sermonibus praebuere. Si privatus 
esset, cur publice loqueretur ? Potuisse eadem 
paucos post dies loco sententiae dici. Ipsa quoque 
insectatio in Vitellium sera et sine libertate : id vero 
erga rem publicam superbum, erga principem con- 
tumeliosum, quod in manu sua fuisse imperium do- 
natumque Vespasiano iactabat. Ceterum invidia in 
occulto, adulatio in aperto erant : multo cum honore 
verborum Muciano triumphalia de bello civium^ data, 
sed in Sarmatas expeditio fingebatur. Adduntur 
Primo Antonio consularia, Comelio Fusco et Arrio 
Varo praetoria insignia. Mox deos respexere ^ ; 
restitui Capitolium placuit. Eaque omnia Valerius 
Asiaticus consul designatus censuit : ceteri vultu 
manuque, pauci, quibus conspicua dignitas aut 
ingenium adulatione exercitum, compositis oration- 
ibus adsentiebantur. Ubi ad Helvidium Priscum 
praetorem designatum ventum, prompsit sententiam 

* de re publica Muretus : et RP. M. 
* civium Walther : civiliiim M. ' respere 31. 

^ This was done because Vespasian and Titus were still in 
the East. 



BOOK IV. ni.-iv. 

their zeal was increased by a letter from Vespasian, 
\vritten as if war were still going on. That at least 
was the impression that it made at first ; but in 
reaUty Vespasian spoke as an emperor, with humility 
of himself, magnificently of the state. Nor did the 
senate fail in homage : it elected Vespasian consul 
\\ith his son Titus, and bestowed a praetorship with 
consular power on Domitian.^ 

IV. Mucianus also had sent a letter to the senate 
that gave occasion for comment. " If," they said, 
"he were a private citizen, why this official language ? 
He might have said the same things a few days 
later, speaking in the senate." Even his attack on 
Vitellius came too late and showed no independ- 
ence. But they thought it a haughty thing toward 
the state and an act of insolence toward the 
emperor for him to boast that he had had the empire 
in his own hand and had presented it to Vespasian. 
Yet their discontent was concealed; their flattery- 
was open : in magnificent terms the senators gave 
Mucianus the insignia of a triumph, in reality for 
civil war, although his expedition against the Sar- 
matae was made the pretext. They also voted 
Antonius Primus the insignia of consular rank, 
Comehus Fuscus and Arrius \'arus of praetorian. 
Then they took thought for the gods : they voted to 
restore the Capitol. All these measures were pro- 
posed by Valerius Asiaticus,^ consul elect ; the rest 
of the senators showed their approval by their looks 
and hands ; a few of conspicuous dignity or whose 
nature was well trained in flattery expressed them- 
selves in formal speeches. Wlien the turn came to 
Helvidius Priscus, praetor elect, he spoke in terms 

* SoQ-in-law of Vitelliaa. 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

ut honorificam in bonum principem, . . . falsa 
aberant, et studiis senatus attollebatur. Isque 
praecipuus illi dies magnae ofFensae initium et 
magnae gloriae fuit. 

V. Res poscere videtur, quoniam iterum in men- 
tionem incidimus viri saepius memorandi, ut vitam 
studiaque eius, et quali fortuna sit usus, paucis 
repetam. Helvidius Priscus [regione Italiae Care- 
cina] e municipio Cluviis,^ patre, qui ordinem primi 
pili duxisset, ingenium inlustre altioribus studiis 
iuvenis admodum dedit, non, ut plerique, ut nomine 
magnifico segne otium velaret, sed quo firmior 
adversus fortuita rem publicam capesseret. Doc- 
tores sapientiae secutus est, qui sola bona quae 
honesta, mala tantum quae turpia, potentiam no- 
bilitatem ceteraque extra animum neque bonis 
neque malis adnumerant. Quaestorius adhuc a 
Paeto Thrasea gener delectus e moribus soceri nihil 
aeque ac libertatem hausit, civis, senator, maritus, 
gener, amicus, cunctis vitae officiis aequabilis, opum 
contemptor, recti pervicax, constans adversus metus. 

VI. Erant quibus adpetentior famae videretur, 

^ e Carecinae Madvig : Cluviis Nipperdey : e municipio 
Cluviis Fisher : regione italiae carecinae municipio cluvios M. 



^ How much has been lost from the text here we cannot 
now say, nor can we accurately conjecture what Helvidius 
said. But clearly his speech lacked warmth and enthusiasm 
towards Vespasian, and it apparently contained some plain 
advice for the new, but not inexperienced, emperor. Cf. 
chap, viii below. 

2 In Samnium. 

^ The Stoic sect, whose stricter members held virtue alone 
to be worthy of man's interest : whatever lay beyond the 



BOOK IV. n-.-vr. 

which, while honourable to a good emperor, . . .^ 
There was no false flattery in his speech, which was 
received ^\•ith enthusiasm by the senate. This was 
the day that stood out in his career as marking the 
beginning of great disfavour and of great glory. 

\ . Since I have again had occasion to mention a 
man of whom I shall have cause to speak many times, 
I think that I ought to give a brief account of his life 
and interests, and of the Wcissitudes of fortune that 
he experienced. Helvidius Priscus was born in the 
town of Cluviae [in the district of Caracina ^J. His 
father had been a centurion of the first rank. In his 
early youth Helvidius devoted his extraordinary 
talents to the higher studies, not as most youths do, 
in order to cloak a useless leisure with a pretentious 
name, but that he might enter public life better 
fortified against the chances of fortune. He followed 
those teachers of philosophy who count only those 
things " good " which are morally right and only 
those things " evil " which are base, and who reckon 
power, high birth, and everything else that is beyond 
the control of the will as neither good nor bad.* 
After he had held only the quaestorship, he was 
selected by Paetus Thrasea to be his son-in-law ; * 
from the character of his father-in-law he derived 
above everything the spirit of freedom ; as citizen, 
senator, husband, son-in-law, and friend he showed 
himself equal to all of Hfe's duties, despising riches, 
determined in the right, unmoved by fear. 

VI. Some thought that he was rather too eager for 

control of the will— health, strength, personal beauty, no 
less than " external goods " — was a matter of indifference to 
the philosopher. — - . ^ 

* Cf. ii. 91. 

II 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

quando etiam sapientibus cupido gloriae novissima 
exuitur. Ruina soceri in exilium pulsus, ut Galbae 
principatu rediit, Marcellum Eprium, delatorem 
Thraseae, accusare adgreditur. Ea ultio, incertum 
maior an iustior, senatum in studia diduxerat : nam si 
caderet Marcellus, agmen reorum sternebatur. Primo 
minax certamen et egregiis utriusque orationibus 
testatum ; mox dubia voluntate Galbae, multis sena- 
torum deprecantibus, omisit Priscus, variis, ut sunt 
hominum ingenia, sermonibus moderationem laudan- 
tium aut constantiam requirentium. 

Ceterum eo senatus die quo de imperio Vespasiani 
censebant, placuerat mitti ad principem legates. 
Hinc inter Helvidium et Eprium acre iurgium: 
Priscus eligi nominatim a magistratibus iuratis, 
Marcellus urnam postulabat, quae consulis designati 
sententia fuerat. 

VII. Sed Marcelli studium proprius rubor excitabat 
ne aliis electis posthabitus crederetur. Paulatimque 
per altercationem ad continuas et infestas orationes 
provecti sunt, quaerente Helvidio quid ita Marcellus 
iudicium magistratuum pavesceret : esse illi pe- 
cuniam et eloquentiam, quis multos anteiret, ni 
memoria flagitiorum urgeretur. Sorte et urna mores 
non discerni : sufFragia et existimationem senatus 

1 Cf. ii. 53. 

12 



BOOK IV. vi.-vii. 

fame, since the passion for glory is that from which 
even philosophers last divest themselves. Driven into 
exile by the ruin of his father-in-law, he returned 
under Galba and brought charges against Mareellus 
Eprius, who had informed against Thrasea.^ This 
attempt to avenge him, at once notable and just, 
divided the senators : for if Mareellus fell, it was the 
ruin of a host of the guilty. At first the struggle was 
threatening, as is proved by the eloquent speeches 
on both sides ; later, since Galba's attitude was uncer- 
tain, Priscus yielded to many appeals from his fellow 
senators and gave up the prosecution. This action 
called forth varied comments according to the nature 
of those who made them, some praising his modera- 
tion, others regretting his lack of firmness. 

However, at the meeting of the senate at which 
\'espasian was voted the imperial power, the senators 
decided to send a delegation to the emperor. This 
gave rise to a sharp difference between Helvidius 
and Eprius, for Helvidius demanded that the repre- 
sentatives be chosen by the magistrates under oath, 
Mareellus demanded a selection by lot, as the consul 
designate had proposed. 

Vn. The interest that Mareellus felt was prompted 
by his personal vanity and his fear that others 
might be chosen and so he might seem neglected. 
Gradually the disputants were swept on in their 
wrangling to make long and bitter speeches. 
Helvidius asked Mareellus why he was so afraid of 
the decision of the magistrates. " You have," he 
said, " wealth and eloquence in which you would be 
superior to many, if you were not burdened ^vith 
men's memory of your crimes. The lot and urn do 
not judge character; voting and the judgment of 

13 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

reperta ut in cuiusque vitam famamque penetrarent. 
Pertinere ad utilitatem rei publicae, pertinere ad 
Vespasiani honorem, occurrere illi quos innocentissi- 
mos senatus habeat, qui honestis sermonibus aui'is 
imperatoris imbuant. Fuisse Vespasiano amicitiam 
cum Thrasea, Sorano, Sentio; quorum accusatores 
etiam si puniri non oporteat, ostentari non debere. 
Hoc senatus iudicio velut admoneri principem quos 
probet, quos reformidet. Nullum maius boni imperii 
instrumentum quam bonos amicos esse. Satis 
Marcello quod Neronem in exitium tot innocentium 
impulerit : frueretur praemiis et impunitate, Ves- 
pasianum melioribus relinqueret. 

VIII. Marcellus non suam sententiam impugnari, 
sed consulem designatum censuisse dicebat, secun- 
dum Vetera exempla quae sortem legationibus 
posuissent, ne ambitioni aut inimicitiis locus foret. 
Nihil evenisse cur antiquitus instituta exolescerent 
aut principis honor in cuiusquam contumeliam 
verteretur; sufficere omnis obsequio. Id magis 
vitandum ne pervicacia quorundam inritaretur 
animus novo principatu suspensus et vultus quoque 
ac sermones omnium circumspectans. Se meminisse 
temporum quibus natus sit, quam civitatis formam 
patres avique instituerint ; ulteriora mirari, prae- 



^ Marcellus received 5,000,000 sesterces for prosecuting 
Thrasea. — Ann. xvi. 33. 

* That is, the establishment of the empire by Augustus. 

14 



BOOK IV. vii-viii. 

the senate have been devised as means to penetrate 
into the life and reputation of the individual. It is 
for the interests of the state and it touches the 
honour to be done \'espasian to have the delegation 
that meets him made up of the men whom the senate 
considers freest from reproach, that they may fill the 
emperor's ears with honourable counsels. Vespasian 
was once the friend of Thrasea, Soranus, and Sentius. 
Even if it is not well to punish their accusers, we 
ought not to make a display of them. By its decision 
in this matter the senate will, in a way, suggest to 
the emperor whom to approve, whom to fear. For a 
good government there is no greater instrument at 
hand than the possession of good friends. You, 
Marcellus, must be satisfied with the fact that you 
induced Nero to put to death so many innocent men. 
Enjoy your rewards ^ and immunity ; leave Vespasian 
to better men." 

VIII. Marcellus replied that it was not his proposal, 
but that of the consul designate that was attacked ; 
and it was a proposal that conformed to the ancient 
precedents, which prescribed that delegates should 
be chosen by lot, that there might be no room for 
self-seeking or for hate. Nothing had occurred to 
give reason for abandoning long-established customs 
or for turning the honour due an emperor into an 
insult to any man : they could all pay homage. 
What they must try to avoid was allowing the wil- 
fulness of certain individuals to irritate the mind of 
the emperor, who was as yet unbiassed, being newly 
come to power and watchful of every look and every 
word. For his own part he remembered the time 
in which he was born, the form of government that 
their fathers and grandfathers had estabhshed ; ^ he 

15 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

sentia sequi; bonos imperatores voto expetere, 
qualiscumque tolerare. Non magis sua oratione 
Thraseam quam iudicio senatus adflictum ; saevitiam 
Neronis per eius modi imagines inlusisse, nee minus 
sibi anxiam talem amicitiam quam aliis exilium. 
Denique constantia fortitudine Catonibus et Brutis 
aequaretur Helvidius : se unum esse ex illo senatu, 
qui simul servient. Suadere etiam Frisco ne supra 
principem scanderet, ne Vespasianum senem trium- 
phalem, iuvenum liberorum patrem, praeceptis 
coerceret. Quo modo pessimis imperatoribus sine 
fine dominationem, ita quam vis egregiis modum 
libertatis placere. Haec magnis utrimque con- 
tentionibus iactata diversis studiis accipiebantur. 
Vicit pars quae sortiri legates malebat, etiam mediis 
patrum adnitentibus retinere morem ; et splendidis- 
simus quisque eodem inclinabat metu invidiae, si 
ipsi eligerentur. 

IX. Secutum aliud certamen. Praetores aerarii 
(nam tum a praetoribus tractabatur aerarium) 
publicam paupertatem questi modum impensis 
postulaverant. Earn curam consul designatus ob 
magnitudinem oneris et remedii difficultatem prin- 
cipi reservabat : Helvidius arbitrio senatus agendum 
censuit. Cum perrogarent sententias consules, Vul- 

^ He was now fifty-nine. 
i6 



BOOK IV. viii.-ix. 

admired the earlier period, but adapted himself to 
the present ; he prayed for good emperors, but 
endured any sort. It was not by his speech any 
more than by the judgment of the senate that 
Thrasea had been brought to ruin ; Nero's cruel 
nature found its delight in such shows of justice, 
and such a friendship caused him no less anxiety 
than exile did others. In short, let them set Hel- 
vidius on an equality with Cato and Brutus in firm- 
ness and courage : for himself, he was only one of a 
senate which accepted a common servitude. He 
would also advise Priscus not to exalt himself above 
an emperor, not to try to check by his precepts a man 
of ripe age as Vespasian was,^ a man who had gained 
the insignia of a trivmiph, and who had sons grown 
to man's estate. Just as the worst emperors ^\'ish 
for absolute tyrarmical power, even the best desire 
some limit to the freedom of their subjects. These 
arguments, which were hurled back and forth Mith 
great vehemence, were received with different feel- 
ings. The party prevailed that favoured the selection 
of the envoys by lot, for even the ordinary' senators 
were eager to preser\"e precedent, and all the most 
prominent also inclined to the same course, fearing 
to excite envy if they should be selected themselves. 
IX. Another dispute followed. The praetors of 
the treasury — for at that time the public treasur}' 
was managed by praetors — complained of the 
poverty of the state and asked that expenses should 
be limited. This problem the consul designate 
unshed to reserve for the emperor in view of the 
magnitude of the burden and the difficulty of the 
remedy, but Helvidius held that the decision should 
rest with the senate. When the consuls began to 

VOL. II. C 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

cacius Tertullinus tribunus plebis irxtercessit ne 
quid super tanta re principe absente statueretur. 
Censuerat Helvidius ut Capitolium publice resti- 
tueretur, adiuvaret Vespasianus. Earn sententiam 
modestissimus quisque silentio, deinde oblivio trans- 
misit : fuere qui et meminissent. 

X. Turn invectus est Musonius Rufus in P. Ce- 
lerem, a quo Baream Soranum falso testimonio 
circumventum arguebat. Ea cognitione renovari 
odia accusationum videbantur. Sed vilis et nocens 
reus protegi non poterat : quippe Sorani sancta 
memoria ; Celer professus sapientiam, dein testis in 
Baream, proditor corruptorque amicitiae cuius se 
raagistrum ferebat. Proximus dies causae des- 
tinatur ; nee tarn Musonius aut Publius quam Prisons 
et Marcellus ceterique, niotis ad ultionem ^ animis, 
expectabantur. 

XI. Tali rerum statu, cum discordia inter patres,^ 
ira apud victos, nulla in victoribus auctoritas, non 
leges, non princeps in civitate essent, Mucianus 
urbem ingressus cuncta simul in se traxit. Fracta 
Primi Antonii Varique Arrii potentia, male dissi- 
mulata in eos Muciani iracundia, quamvis vultu 
tegeretur, Sed civitas rimandis ofFensis sagax 
verterat se transtuleratque : ille unus ambiri, coli. 

^ &d ultionem Lipsius '. adulationibus J/. 
* partes M. 

^ Helvidius was thought to have slighted Vespasian by 
inviting him merely to assist in the restoration. 
« Cf. iii. 81. 
3 Celer was condemned. Cf. chap. xl. below. 

l8 



BOOK IV. ix.-xi. 

ask the senators their \iews, V'ulcacius Tertullinus, 
tribune of the people, forbade any decision on so 
important a matter in the absence of the emperor. 
Hehidius had proposed that the Capitol should be 
restored at pubUc expense and that Vespasian should 
assist in the work. This proposal the more prudent 
senators passed over in silence, and then allowed it 
to be forgotten. There were some, however, who 
remembered it.^ 

X. Then Musonius Rufus ^ attacked Publius Celer, 
charging him with bringing Barea Soranus to ruin 
by false testimony. This trial seemed to revive the 
hatred once roused by the informers. But a de- 
fendant so base and guilty as Celer could not be 
protected : the memory of Soranus was revered ; 
Celer had been his teacher in philosophy, then had 
given testimony against him, thus betraying and 
profaning friendship, the nature of which he pro- 
fessed to teach. The earliest possible day was set 
for the case, and men eagerly looked forward to 
hearing not Musonius or Celer so much as Priscus, 
Marcellus, and all the rest, for their minds were now 
set on vengeance.-^ 

XI. In this state of affairs, when discord reigned 
among the senators, when the defeated party was 
filled with rage, and there was no authority among 
the victors, neither law nor emperor in the state, 
Mucianus entered the city and took everything into 
his own hands. The power of Primus Antonius and 
of Varus Arrius was broken, for Mucianus pooi-ly 
concealed his anger toward them, although he did 
not betray his feehngs in his looks. But the city, 
quick to discover offences, had turned and transferred 
its devotion to Mucianus : he alone was sought out 

19 
c2 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

Nee deerat ipse, stipatus ^ armatis domos hortosque 
permutans, apparatu incessu excubiis vim principis 
amplecti, nomen remittere. Plurimum terroris in- 
tulit caedes^ Calpurnii Galeriani. Is fuit filius Gai 
Pisonis, nihil ausus : sed nomen insigne et decora 
ipsius ^ iuventa rumore vulgi celebrabantur, erantque 
in civitate adhuc turbida et novis sermonibus laeta 
qui principatus inanem ei famam circumdarent. 
lussu Muciani custodia militari cinctus, ne in ipsa 
urbe conspectior mors foret, ad quadragensimum ab 
urbe lapidem Appia via fuso per venas sanguine 
extinguitur. lulius Priscus praetoriarum sub Vitellio 
cohortium praefectus se ipse interfecit, pudore 
magis quam necessitate. Alfenus Varus ignaviae 
infamiaeque suae superfuit. Asiaticus (etenim is * 
libertus) malam potentiam servili supplicio expiavit. 
XII. Isdem diebus crebrescentem cladis Ger- 
manicae famam nequaquam maesta civitas exci- 
piebat ; caesos exercitus, capta legionum hiberna, 
descivisse Gallias non ut mala loquebantur. Id 
bellum quibus causis ortum, quanto externarum 
sociarumque gentium motu flagraverit, altius ex- 
pediam. Batavi, donee trans Rhenum agebant, pars 

1 stipatis M. * cedem M. ' ipsi M. 

* etenim is Ernesti: enim is M. 

^ Gaius Piso conspired against Nero in 66 a.d., and on 
the discovery of the conspiracy committed suicide. Cf. 
Ann. XV. 59. 

2 Cf. iii. 61. 

^ His elevation to equestrian rank was told in ii. 57. He 
was now crucified. 



BOOK IV. xi.-xn. 

and courted. Nor did he fail in his part : sur- 
rounded A\-ith armed men, changing his houses and 
gardens, by his parade, his gait, his guards, he grasped 
at an emperor's power, the title he let pass. The 
greatest terror was caused by the execution of Cal- 
purnius Galerianus. He was the son of Gaius Piso,^ 
but he had attempted nothing seditious : yet his 
eminent name and his handsome appearance made 
him the subject of gossip, and among the citizens, 
who were still uneasy and delighted in talk of a 
revolution, there were enough ready to bestow on 
him the empty honours of the principate. Mucianus 
ordered his arrest by a squad of soldiers, and then, 
fearing that his execution within the city itself would 
attract too much attention, he had him taken to the 
fortieth milestone on the Appian Way, where he 
was put to death by opening his veins. Juhus 
Priscus, prefect of the praetorian cohorts under 
Vitellius, committed suicide, prompted by shame 
rather than necessity. Alfenus Varus survived his 
ovm cowardice and infamy. ^ Asiaticus, being a 
freedman, paid for his baneful power by a slave's 
punishment.^ 

XII. During these same days the citizens received 
increasing rumours of disasters in Germany * with 
no sign of sorrow : slaughtered armies, the capture 
of the legions' winter quarters, a revolt of the 
Gallic provinces men spoke of as though they were 
not misfortunes. As to that war, I propose to 
explain its causes somewhat deeply and the extent 
to which foreign and allied tribes were involved in 
this conflagration. The Batavians formed part of the 

♦ Cf. iii. 46. 

21 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

Chattorum, seditione domestica pulsi extrema Gal- 
licae orae vacua cultoribus simulque insulam iuxta 
sitam^ occupavere, quam mare Oceanus a fronte, 
Rhenus amnis tergum ac latera circumluit. Nee 
opibus (rarum ^ in societate validiorum) attritis ^ viros 
tantum armaque imperio niinistrant, diu Ger- 
manieis bellis exerciti, mox aueta per Britanniam 
gloria, transmissis illuc cohortibus, quas vetere 
instituto nobilissimi popularium regebant. Erat * et 
domi delectus eques, praecipuo nandi studio, arma 
equosque retinens integris turmis Rhenum perrum- 
pere . . . 

XIII. lulius Paulus et lulius Civilis ^ regia stirpe 
niulto ceteros anteibant. Paulum Fonteius Capito 
falso rebellionis crimine interfecit ; iniectae Civili 
catenae, missusque ad Neronem et a Galba absolutus 
sub Vitellio rursus discrimen adiit,^ flagitante sup- 
pliciuni eius exercitu : inde causae irarum spesque 
ex malis nostris. Sed Civilis ultra quam barbaris 
solitum ingenio sollers et Sertorium se aut Annibalem 
ferens simili oris dehonestamento, ne ut hosti obviam 
iretur, si a populo Romano palam descivisset, \'es- 

^ iuxta sitam Wahh : invata sit an M. 

^ rarum Tirdke : romanis M. 

' attritis Tirdke : adtriti M. * erant M. 

^ lulius Civilis Bitter : Claudius Civilis 31. 

6 adit M. 

^ The Chatti, one of the most warlike of the German tribes, 
lived in the districts known to-day as Hessen-Nassau and 
Waldeck. For a description of this tribe, see Germania 29-31. 

2 This insula Baiavorum, about sixty miles in length, is 
formed by the Rhine and the Waal. The name is preserved 
in the modem Betuj^e. ' That is, they were not taxed. 

* What has been lost here cannot now be accurately 
determined. 



22 



BOOK IV. xii.-xiii. 

Chatti 1 so long as they lived across the Rhine ; then, 
being expelled by a civil war, they occupied the 
edge of the Gallic bank which was uninhabited, and 
likewise an island close by, which is washed by the 
ocean in front but by the Rhine on its rear and sides. ^ 
Without ha%-ing their Avealth exhausted ^ — a thing 
which is rare in alUance -with a stronger people — 
they furnished our empire only men and arms. They 
had long training in our wars AWth the Germans; 
then later they increased their renown by service in 
Britain, whither some cohorts were sent, led accord- 
ing to their ancient custom by the noblest among 
them. They had also at home a select body of 
cavalry which excelled in s^vimming ; keeping their 
arms and horses they crossed the Rhine Avithout 
breaking their formation. . . .* 

XIII. Julius Paulus and Juhus Civilis were by far 
the most distinguished among the Batavians, being 
both of royal stock. On a false charge of revolt, 
Paulus was executed by Fonteius Capito ; ^ Ci\ihs 
was put in chains and sent to Nero, and although 
acquitted by Galba, he was again exposed to danger 
under VitelUus owing to the clamour of the army for 
his punishment : ^ these were the causes of his anger, 
his hopes sprang from our misfortunes. Ci\-ilis, 
however, who was cunning beyond the average 
barbarian, bore himself also like a Sertorius or a 
Hannibal, since his face was disfigured like theirs ; ' 
in order to avoid being attacked as an enemy, as he 
would have been if he had openly revolted from 
the Romans, he pretended to be a friend of Vespasian 

* Apparentlv in connection with the revolt of Vindex. 
Cf. i. 6. 

• Cf . i. 59. ' That is, he had lost an eye. 

23 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

pasiani amicitiam studiumque partium praetendit, 
missis sane ad eum Primi Antonii litteris, quibus 
avertere accita a ^ Vitellio auxilia et tumultus Ger- 
manici specie retentare legiones iubebatur. Eadem 
Hordeonius Flaccus praesens monuerat, inclinato in 
Vespasianum animo et rei publicae cura, cui excidium 
adventabat, si redintegratum bellum et tot arma- 
toruni milia Italiam inrupissent. 

XIV. Igitur Civilis desciscendi certus, occultato 
interim altiore consilio, cetera ex eventu iudicaturus, 
novare res hoc modo coepit. lussu Vitellii Bata- 
vorum iuventus ad dilectum vocabatur, quem suapte 
natura gravem onerabant ministri avaritia ac luxu, 
senes aut invalidos conquirendo, quos pretio di- 
mitterent : rursus impubes et ^ forma conspicui (et est 
plerisque procera pueritia) ad stuprum trahebantur. 
Hinc invidia, et compositae ^ seditionis auctores per- 
pulere ut dilectum abnuerent. Civilis primores gentis 
et promptissimos vulgi specie epularum sacrum in 
nemus vocatos, ubi nocte ac laetitia incaluisse videt, 
a laude gloriaque gentis orsus iniurias et raptus et 
cetera servitii mala enumerat : neque enim so- 
cietatem, ut olim, sed tamquam mancipia haberi : 

1 a codd. dett.. Halm. 

* impubes et Halm : impubes sed M. 

^ compositae codd. dett.. Halm : compositi M. 

^ Governor of Upper Germany. 
24 



BOOK IV. xni.-xiv. 

and enthusiastic for his party; indeed Primus An- 
tonius had actually ^VTitten to him directing him to 
divert the auxiliary troops called up by Vitellius 
and to hold back the legions on the pretext of a 
German revolt. Hordeonius Flaccus,^ who was on 
the ground, had given him the same suggestion, 
moved by his own partiality toward Vespasian and 
by his anxiety for the state, whose ruin was sure if 
war were renewed and all those thousands of armed 
men burst into Italy. 

XIV, So then Civilis, having determined to revolt, 
concealed for the time his deeper purpose, and being 
ready to determine his other plans by the event, 
began to make trouble in the following way. At the 
orders of Vitellius a le\'y of the young Batavians was 
now being made. This burden, which is naturally 
grievous, was made the heavier by the greed and 
licence of those in charge of the levy : they hunted 
out the old and the weak that they might get a price 
for letting them off; again they dragged away the 
children to satisfy their lust, choosing the hand- 
somest — and the Batavian children are generally tall 
beyond their years. These acts aroused resentment, 
and the leaders in the conspiracy, on which they 
were now determined, persuaded the people to refuse 
the levy. Civilis called the leaders of his tribe and 
the boldest of the common people into a sacred grove 
under the pretext of giving a banquet, and when he 
saw that the night and revelry had fired their spirits, 
he began to speak of the honour and glory of their 
tribe, then passed on to count over their wrongs, the 
extortion practised on them, and all the rest of the 
misfortunes of slavery. " For," he declared, " we 
are no longer regarded as allies, as once we were, but 

25 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

quando legatum, gravi quidem coniitatu et superbo, 
cum imperio venire ? Tradi se praefectis centurion- 
ibusque : quos ubi spoliis et sanguine expleverint, 
mutari, exquirique novos sinus et varia praedandi 
vocabula. Instare dileetum quo liberi a parentibus, 
fratres a fratribus velut supremum dividantur. Num- 
quam magis adflictam rem Romanam nee aliud in 
hibernis quam praedam et senes : attollerent tantum 
oculos et inania legionum nomina ne pavescerent. 
At sibi robur peditum equitumque, consanguineos 
Germanos, Gallias idem cupientis. Ne Romanis 
quidem ingratum id bellum, cuius ambiguam for- 
tunam Vespasiano imputaturos : victoriae rationem 
non reddi. 

XV. Magno cum adsensu auditus barbaro ritu et 
patriis execrationibus universes adigit. Missi ad 
Canninefatis qui consilia sociarent. Ea gens partem 
insulae colit, origine lingua virtute par Batavis ; 
numero superantur. Mox occultis nuntiis pellexit 
Britannica auxilia, Batavorum cohortis missas in 
Germaniam, ut supra rettulimus, ac turn Mogontiaci 
agentis. Erat in Canninefatibus stolidae audaciae 
Brinno, claritate natalium insigni ; pater eius multa 

^ In the northern part of the island. 
« ii. 29. 
^ Mayence. 

26 



BOOK IV. xiv.-xv. 

as slaves. When does a governor come to us with 
full commission, even though his suite would be 
burdensome and insolent if he came ? We are 
handed over to prefects and centurions : after one 
band is satisfied with murder and spoils, the troops 
are shifted, and new purses are looked for to be filled 
and varied pretexts for plundering are sought. We 
are threatened with a levy which separates children 
from parents and brothers from brothers, as if in 
death. Never has the Roman state been in direr 
straits than now, and there is nothing in their 
winter camps but booty and old men. Simply lift 
your eyes and do not fear the empty name of legions. 
But on our side are our strong infantry and cavalry, 
our kinsmen the Germans, the Gallic provinces that 
cherish the same desires as ourselves. Not even the 
Romans will regard this war with disfavour ; if its 
outcome is uncertain we shall say that it was under- 
taken for Vespasian ; for victory no account is ever 
rendered." 

XV. His words won great applause, and he bound 
them all by their national oaths and barbarous rites. 
Men were despatched to the Canninefates to join 
them to their plan. The Canninefates live in part 
of the island ; ^ in origin, speech, and courage they 
are equal to the Batavians, but inferior to them in 
number. Presently by secret messengers they won 
over to their cause auxiliary troops from Britain and 
the Batavian cohorts that had been sent into Ger- 
many, as I have stated above,^ and which were at 
that time stationed at Mogontiacum.^ There was 
among the Canninefates a man of brute courage 
named Brinno, who was of illustrious descent; his 
father had dared to commit manv hostile acts and 

27 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

hostilia ausus Gaianarum expeditionum ludibrium 
impune spreverat. Igitur ipso rebel lis familiae 
nomine placuit impositusque scuto more gentis et 
sustinentium umeris vibratus dux deligitur. Statim- 
que accitis Frisiis (transrhenana gens est) duarum 
cohortium hiberna proxima Oceano ^ inrumpit. Nee 
providerant^ impetum hostium milites, nee, si pro- 
vidissent, satis virium ad arcendum erat : capta 
igitur ac direpta castra. Dein vagos et pacis modo 
efFusos lixas negotiatoresque Romanos invadunt. 
Simul excidiis castellorum imminebant, quae a 
praefectis cohortium incensa sunt, quia defendi 
nequibant. Signa vexillaque et quod militum in 
superiorem insulae partem congregantur, duce 
Aquilio primipilari, nomen magis exercitus quam 
robur : quippe viribus cohortium abductis Vitellius e 
proximis Nerviorum Germanorumque pagis segnem 
numerum armis oneraverat. 

XVI. Civilis dolo grassandum ratus incusavit ultro 
praefectos quod castella deseruissent : se cum 
cohorte, cui praeerat, Canninefatem tumultum com- 
pressurum, illi sua quisque hiberna repeterent. 
Subesse fraudem consilio et dispersas cohortis 
facilius opprimi, nee Brinnonem ducem eius belli, sed 

^ proxima (proximo M^) occupata oceano M : occupata seel. 
Urlichs, Novak. 
^ providerant ed. Spirensis : praeviderant M. 

^ Cf. Suetonius, Caligula 43-47, for Caligula's ridiculous 
attempts. 

2 Living in modem Friesland. 

^ The Nervii lived chiefly in the modem Belgian districts 
of Hainaut and Namur, on both banks of the Sambre. The 
Germans here referred to must be Germanic tribes living in 
modem Namur and Luxembourg, spoken of by Caesar as the 
Germani cisrhenani, B.G. vi. 2; cf. ii. 4. 

28 



BOOK IV. xv.-xvi. 

had shown his scorn for Gaius' absurd expeditions 
without suffering for it.^ The very name of his 
rebelUous family therefore made Brinno a favourite ; 
and in accordance with their tribal custom the Ba- 
tavians set him on a shield and, lifting him on their 
shoulders, chose him as their leader. He at once 
called in the Frisians, a tribe living across the Rhine, ^ 
and assailed by sea the winter camp of two cohorts 
which were nearest to attack. The Roman troops 
had not foreseen the assault, and even if they had, 
they did not have enough strength to keep off the 
enemy : so the camp was captured and plundered. 
Then the enemy attacked the Roman foragers and 
traders who were scattered about the country as if 
it were a time of peace. At the same time they 
threatened to destroy the Roman forts, which the 
prefects of the cohorts burned, for they could not 
defend them. The Roman ensigns and standards 
with all the soldiers were concentrated in the upper 
part of the island under the leadership of Aquilius, 
a centurion of the first rank ; but they had rather 
the name than the strength of an army : for when 
Vitellius had withdrawn the effective cohorts, he had 
gathered a useless crowd from the nearest cantons of 
the Nervii and Germans and burdened them with 
arms.^ 

XVI. Thinking it best to proceed by craft, Civilis 
promptly rebuked the prefects for abandoning their 
forts, and declared that he would crush the revolt 
of the Canninefates A^-ith the cohort under his com- 
mand ; they were to return each to his winter quar- 
ters. It was clear that treachery lay behind his 
adWce and that the cohorts when scattered could be 
more easily crushed; likewise it was plain that the 

29 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

Civilem esse ^ patuit, erumpentibus paulatim indiciis 
quae Germani, laeta bello gens, non diu occulta- 
verant. Ubi insidiae parum cessere, ad vim trans- 
gressus Canninefatis, Frisios, Batavos propriis cuneis 
componit : derecta ex diverse acies baud procul a 
flumine Rheno et obversis in hostem navibus, quas ^ 
incensis castellis illuc adpulerant. Nee diu certato 
Tungrorum cohors signa ad Civilem transtulit, per- 
culsique milites improvisa proditione a sociis hosti- 
busque caedebantur. Eadem etiam in^ navibus per- 
fidia : pars remigum * e Batavis tamquam imperitia 
officia nautarum ^ propugnatorumque impediebant ; 
mox contra tendere et puppis hostili ripae obicere : 
ad postremum gubernatores centurionesque, nisi 
eadem volentis, trucidant, donee universa quattuor 
et viginti navium classis transfugeret aut caperetur. 
XVII. Clara ea victoria in praesens, in poster um 
usui ; armaque et navis, quibus indigebant, adepti 
magna per Germanias Galliasque fama libertatis 
auctores celebrabantur, Germaniae statim misere 
legates auxilia ofFerentis : Galliarum societatem 
Civilis arte donisque adfectabat, captos cohortium 
praefectos suas in civitates remittendo, cohortibus, 
abire an manere mallent, data potestate. Manen- 
tibus honorata militia, digredientibus spolia Ro- 



1 eiuB M. 2 quasi M. ' in add. Wurm. 

* remigium M. ^ nautorum M. 



3° 



BOOK IV. xvi.-xvii. 

real leader in this war was not Brinno but Civilis ; 
the proofs of this gradually appeared, for the Ger- 
mans, who delight in war, did not long conceal the 
facts. \\Tien treachery did not succeed, Civilis 
turned to force and organized the Canninefates, the 
Frisians, and the Bata\'ians, each tribe in a troop by 
itself: the Roman line was dra^vn up to oppose them 
not far from the Rhine, and the vessels which had 
been brought here after the burning of the forts 
were turned to front the foe. The battle had not 
lasted long when a cohort of the Tingri transferred 
its standards to Ci\ilis, and the Roman soldiers, 
demoralized by this sudden betrayal, were cut down 
by allies and foes ahke. There was the same 
treachery also on the part of the fleet : some of the 
rowers, being Bata\'ians, by pretending a lack of 
skill interfered •with the sailors and combatants ; 
presently they began to row in the opposite direction 
and bring the stems to the bank on which the enemy 
stood ; finally, they killed such of the helmsmen and 
centurions as did not take their %iew, until the entire 
fleet of twenty-four vessels either went over to the 
enemy or was captured. 

X\ II. This ^ictor^' was glorious for the enemy at 
the moment and useful for the future. They gained 
arms and boats which they needed, and were greatly 
extolled as Uberators throughout the German and 
Gallic provinces. The Germans at once sent dele- 
gations offering assistance ; the GalHc pro\inces 
Ci\-ilis tried to win to an alliance by craft and gifts, 
sending back the captured prefects to their own 
states and giving the soldiers of the cohorts per- 
mission to go or stay as they pleased. Those who 
stayed were given honourable service in the army, 

31 



t 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

manorum offerebantur : simul secretis sermonibus 
admonebat malorum, quae tot annis perpessi miseram 
servitutem falso pacem vocarent. Batavos, quam- 
quam tributorum expertis, arma contra communis 
dominos cepisse ; prima acie fusum victumque 
Romanum. Quid si Galliae iugum exuant ? quantum 
in Italia reliquum ? pro vinci arum sanguine provincias 
vinci. Ne Vindicis aciem cogitarent : Batavo equite 
protritos Aeduos Arvernosque ; fuisse inter Verginii 
auxilia Belgas, vereque reputantibus Galliam suismet 
viribus concidisse. Nunc easdem omnium partis, 
addito si quid militaris disciplinae in castris Romano- 
rum viguerit ; esse secum veteranas cohortis, quibus 
nuper Othonis legiones procubuerint. Servirent 
Syria Asiaque et suetus regibus Oriens : multos 
adhuc in Gallia vivere ante tributa genitos. Nuper 
certe caeso Quintilio Varo pulsam e Germania ser- 
vitutem, nee Vitellium principem sed Caesarem 
Augustum bello provocatum. Libertatem natura 
etiam mutis animalibus datam, virtutem proprium 
hominum bonum ; deos fortioribus adesse : proinde 
arriperent vacui occupatos, integri fessos. Dum alii 
Vespasianiun, alii Vitellium foveant, patere locum 
adversus utrumque. XVIII. Sic in Gallias Germa- 

1 In 9 A.D. 
32 



BOOK IV. xvii.-xviii. 

those who left were offered spoils taken from the 
Romans. At the same time in private conversation 
he reminded them of the miseries that they had 
endured so many years while they falsely called their 
wTetched servitude a peace. " The Batavians," he 
said, " although free from tribute, have taken up 
arms against our common masters. In the very first 
engagement the Romans have been routed and 
defeated. What if the Gallic pro\inces should throw 
off the yoke ? What forces are there left in Italy ? 
It is by the blood of the provinces that provinces are 
won. Do not think of Vindex's battle. It was the 
Batavian cavalry that crushed the Aedui and Avemi ; 
among the auxiliary forces of Virginius were Bel- 
gians, and if you consider the matter aright you will 
see that Gaul owed its fall to its own forces. Now 
all belong to the same party, and we have gained 
besides all the strength that military training in 
Roman camps can give ; I have with me veteran 
cohorts before which Otho's legions lately suc- 
cumbed. Let Syria, Asia, and the East, which is 
accustomed to kings, play the slave ; there are 
many still ahve in Gaul who were born before tribute 
was knovvn. Surely it was not long ago that slavery 
was driven from Germany by the killing of Quin- 
tilius Varus,^ and the emperor whom the Germans 
then challenged was not a Vitellius but a Caesar 
Augustus. Liberty is a gift which nature has 
granted even to dumb animals, but courage is the 
peculiar blessing of man. The gods favour the 
braver : on, therefore, carefree against the dis- 
tressed, fresh against the weary. While some 
favour Vespasian and others Vitellius, the field is 
open against both." XVIII. In this way Civilis, 

33 

VOL. II. D 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

niasque intentus, si destinata provenissent, validis- 
simarum ditissimar unique nationum regno immi- 
nebat. 

At Flaccus Hordeonius primes Civilis conatus per 
dissimulationem aluit : ubi expugnata castra, deletas 
cohortis, pulsum Batavorum insula Romanum nomen 
trepidi nuntii adferebant, Munium Lupercura le- 
gatum (is duarum legionum hibernis praeerat) 
egredi adversus hostem iubet. Lupercus legionarios 
e praesentibus, Ubios e proximis, Trevirorum equites 
baud longe agentis raptim transmisit, addita Batavo- 
rum ala, quae iam pridem corrupta fidem simulabat, 
ut proditis in ipsa acie Romanis maiore pretio fugeret. 
Givilis captarum cohortium signis circumdatus, ut 
sue militi recens gloria ante oculos et hostes memoria 
cladis terrerentur, matrem suam sororesque, simul 
omnium coniuges parvosque liberos consistere a 
tergo iubet, hortamenta victoriae vel pulsis pudorem. 
Ut virorum cantu, feminarum ululatu sonuit acies, 
nequaquam par a legionibus cohortibusque redditur 
clamor. Nudaverat sinistrum cornu ^ Batavorum ala 
transfugiens statimque in nos versa. Sed legionarius 

^ cornu M. 
34 



BOOK IV. XVIII. 

turning his attention eagerly toward the Germanies 
and the Gauls, was preparing, should his plans prove 
successful, to gain the kingship over the strongest 
and richest nations. 

But Hordeonius Flaccus furthered his enterprises 
at first by affecting to be unaware of them ; when, 
however, terrified messengers brought word of the 
capture of camps, the destruction of cohorts, and the 
expulsion of the Roman name from the island of the 
Bata\ians, he ordered Munius Lupercus, who com- 
manded the two legions in winter quarters, to take 
the field against the foe. Lupercus quickly trans- 
ported to the island all the legionaries that he had, 
as well as the Ubii from the auxiliaries quartered 
close by and a body of Tre\'iran cavalrj" which was 
not far away. He joined to these forces a squadron 
of Bata\ian cavalry, which, although already won 
over to the other side, still pretended to be faithful, 
that by betraying the Romans on the very field 
itself it might win a greater reward for its desertion. 
Ci\ihs had the standards of the captured cohorts 
ranged about him that his o\vn troops might have 
the evidence of their newly-won glory before their 
eyes and that the enemy might be terrified by the 
memory of their defeat ; he ordered his own mother 
and his sisters, likewise the wives and little children 
of all his men, to take their stand behind his troops 
to encourage them to victory or to shame them if 
defeated. When the enemy's line re-echoed with 
the men's singing and the women's cries, the shout 
with which the legions and cohorts answered was far 
from equal. Our left had already been exposed by 
the desertion of the Batavian horse, which at once 
turned against us. Yet the legionary troops kept 

35 
d2 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

miles, quamquam rebus trepidis, arma ordinesque 
retinebat. Ubiorum Trevirorumque auxilia foeda 
fuga dispersa totis campis palantur : illue incubuere 
Germani, et fuit interim efFugium legionibus in 
castra, quibus Veterum nomen est. Praefectus alae 
Batavorum Claudius Labeo, oppidano certamine 
aemulus Civili, ne interfectus invidiam ^ apud popu- 
laris, vel, si retineretur, semina discordiae praeberet, 
in Frisios avehitur. 

XIX. Isdem diebus Batavorum et Canninefatium 
cohortis, cum iussu Vitellii in urbem pergerent, 
missus a Civile nuntius adsequitur. Intimiuere 
statim superbia ferociaque et pretium itineris do- 
nativum, duplex stipendium, augeri equitum nu- 
merum, promissa sane a Vitellio, postulabant, non 
ut adsequerentur, sed causam seditioni. Et Flaccus 
multa concedendo nihil aliud efFecerat quam ut 
acrius exposcerent quae sciebant negaturum. Spreto 
Flacco inferiorem Germaniam petivere ut Civili 
iungerentur. Hordeonius adhibitis tribunis cen- 
turionibusque consultavit num obsequium abnuentis 
vi coerceret ; mox insita ignavia et trepidis ministris, 
quos ambiguus auxiliorum animus et subito dilectu 
suppletae legiones angebant, statuit continere intra 

^ invidia M. 

^ Near the modem Xanten. 

2 Cf. i. 59; ii. 97; and iv. 15. 

* The legionaries received ten asses daily, the auxiliaries 
probably somewhat less. The cavalry enjoyed higher pay 
than the foot. 

36 



BOOK IV. xviii.-xix. 

their arms and maintained their ranks in spite of 
the alarming situation. The auxiliary forces made 
up of the Ubii and Treveri fled disgracefully and 
wandered in disorder over the country. The Germans 
made them the object of their attack, and so the 
legions meanwhile were able to escape to the camp 
called Vetei'a.^ Claudius Labeo, who was in com- 
mand of the Batavian horse, had been a rival of 
Civihs in some local matter, and was consequently 
now removed to the Frisii, that he might not, if 
killed, excite his fellow-tribesmen to anger, or, if 
kept ■R'ith the forces, sow seeds of discord. 

XIX. At this time a messenger dispatched by 
Civilis overtook the cohorts of Batavi and Cannine- 
fates which were on their way to Rome in accordance 
with the orders of Vitelhus.^ They were at once 
puffed up with pride and insolence : they demanded 
a gift as a reward for their journey ; they insisted 
on double pay and an increase in the number of 
cavalry; ^ these things, it is true, had been promised 
by Vitellius, but the cohorts' real purpose was not to 
obtain their demands, but to find an excuse for 
revolt. In fact by granting many of their demands 
Flaccus accomplished nothing except to make them 
insist all the more on things which they knew he 
would refuse. They treated him with scorn and 
started for lower Germany to join Civilis. Hor- 
deonius summoned the tribunes and centurions and 
consulted them as to whether he should check the 
disobedient troops by force ; then, moved by his 
natural timidity and the terrors of his subordinates, 
who were distressed by the uncertain temper of the 
auxiliaries and by the fact that the legions had been 
filled up from a hasty levy, he decided to keep his 

37 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

castra militem : dein paenitentia et arguentibus 
ipsis qui suaserant, tamquam secuturus scripsit 
Herennio Gallo legionis primae legato, qui Bonnam 
obtinebat, ut arceret transitu Batavos : se cum 
exercitu tergis eorum haesurum. Et opprimi po- 
terant si hinc Hordeonius, inde Gallus, motis utrimque 
copiis, medios clausissent. Flaccus omisit inceptum 
aliisque litteris Galium monuit ne terreret abeuntis : 
unde suspicio sponte legatorum excitari bellum 
cunctaque quae acciderant aut metuebantur non 
inertia militis neque hostium vi, sed fraude ducum 
evenire. 

XX. Batavi cum castris Bonnensibus propin- 
quarent, praemisere qui Herennio Gallo mandata 
cohortium exponeret. Nullum sibi bellum adversus 
Romanos, pro quibus totiens bellassent : longa atque 
inrita militia fessis patriae atque otii cupidinem 
esse. Si nemo obsisteret, innoxium iter fore : sin 
arma oecurrant, ferro viam inventuros. Cunctantem 
legatum milites perpulerant fortunam proelii ex- 
periretur. Tria milia legionariorum et tumultuariae 
Belgarum cohortes, simul paganorum lixarumque 
ignava sed procax ante periculum manus omnibus 
38 



BOOK IV. xL\.-xx. 

soldiers in camp. Next, repenting of his decision 
and influenced by the very men who had advised it, 
he \\Tote, as though purposing to follow himself, to 
the commander of the First legion, Herennius Gallus, 
stationed at Bonn, to keep the Bata\i from passing ; 
and added that he would press hard on their rear 
with his troops. Indeed the BataW might have 
been crushed if Hordeonius on one side and Gallus 
on the other had moved their troops from both 
directions and caught the foe between them. 
Flaccus abandoned the undertaking and in a second 
letter warned Gallus not to alarm the Bata\'ians as 
they withdrew : this gave rise to the suspicion that 
war was being begun with the approval of the 
Roman commanders, and that everything that had 
happened or that men feared would come to pass 
was due not to the inactivity of the soldiers or the 
power of the enemy, but to treachery on the part 
of the generals. 

XX. When the Batavi were approaching the camp 
at Bonn, they sent a messenger ahead to set forth 
to Herennius Gallus the demands of the cohorts. 
This messenger said that they were not making war 
on the Romans on whose behalf they had often 
fought, but that they were weary of their long and 
profitless service and longed for their home and a life 
of peace. If no one opposed them they would pass 
without doing any harm ; but if armed resistance 
were offered, they would find a path vvith the sword. 
When Gallus hesitated, the soldiers urged him to try 
the issue of battle. Three thousand legionaries and 
some cohorts of Belgians, which had been hastily 
raised, as well as a band of peasants and foragers, 
unwarlike but bold before they met actual danger, 

39 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

portis prorumpunt ^ ut Batavos numero imparis cir- 
cumfundant. Illi veteres militiae in cuneos con- 
gregantur, densi undique et frontem tergaque ac 
latus tuti ; sic tenuem nostrorum aciem perfringunt. 
Cedentibus Belgis pellitur legio, et vallum portasque 
trepidi petebant. Ibi plurimum cladis : cumulatae 
corporibus fossae, nee caede tantum et vulneribus, 
sed ruina et suis plerique telis interiere.^ Victores 
colonia Agrippinensium vitata, nihil cetero in itinera 
hostile ausi, Bonnense proelium excusabant, tam- 
quam petita pace, postquam negabatur, sibimet ipsi 
consuluissent. 

XXI. Civilis adventu veteranarum cohortium iusti 
iam exercitus ductor, sed consilii ambiguus et vim 
Romanam reputans, cunctos qui aderant in verba 
Vespasiani adigit mittitque legatos ad duas legiones, 
quae priore acie pulsae in Vetera castra concesserant, 
ut idem sacramentum acciperent. Redditur re- 
sponsum : neque proditoris neque hostium se con- 
siliis uti ; esse sibi Vitellium principem, pro quo 
fidem et arma usque ad supremum spiritum reten- 
turos : proinde perfuga Batavus arbitrium rerum 
Romanarum ^ ne ageret, sed meritas * sceleris poenas 
expectaret. Quae ubi relata Civili, incensus ira 
universam Batavorum gentem in arma rapit ; iun- 
guntur Bructeri Tencterique et excita nuntiis Ger- 
mania ad praedam famamque. 

XXII. Adversus has concurrentis belli minas legati 

^ prorumpunt Bitter : rumpunt M. ^ interire M. 
' romanorum M. * merita M. 

^ The Tencteri lived between the Rhine, the Ruhr, and the 
Lippe; the Bructeri somewhat to the north between the 
Lippe and the upper Ems. 

40 



BOOK I\'. xx.-xxii. 

burst out of all the gates at once to surround the 
Batavi, who -were inferior in numbers. But they, 
being veterans in service, gathered in solid columns, 
with their ranks closed on every side, secure on front 
and flanks and rear ; so they broke through our thin 
line. When the Belgians gave way, the legion was 
driven back and in terror rushed for the rampart and 
gates of the camp. At these points there were the 
greatest losses : the ditches were heaped high with 
bodies and our men died not only by the sword and 
from wounds, but also from the crush and very many 
by their own weapons. The Nactors avoided Cologne 
and made no other hostile attempt during the rest 
of their march ; they excused the battle at Bonn on 
the ground that they had asked for peace, and when 
this was refused, had consulted their own interests. 

XXI. The arrival of these veteran cohorts put 
Civilis in command of a real army, but being still 
uncertain what course to adopt and reflecting on the 
power of the Romans, he had all his forces swear 
allegiance to Vespasian, and sent a delegation to the 
two legions which after their recent defeat had retired 
to the camp called Vetera, bidding them take the 
same oath. They rephed: " We do not follow the 
ad\'ice of a traitor or of enemies. Our emperor is 
Vitelhus, for whom we will keep faith and fight to 
our last breath : no Batavian deserter therefore shall 
play the arbiter of Rome's destiny, but rather let 
him expect the punishment his crime deserves." On 
recei\-ing this reply Ci\-ilis, hot mth rage, swept the 
whole Bata\ian people into arms ; the Bructeri and 
Tencteri ^ joined, and the Germans, summoned by 
messengers, hurried to share in booty and glory. 

XXII. To meet this threatening war that was rising 

41 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

legionum Munius Lupercus et Numisius Rufus vallum 
murosque firmabant. Subversa longae pacis opera, 
haud procul castris in modum municipii extructa, ne 
hostibus usui forent. Sed parum provisum ut ^ 
copiae in castra conveherentur ; rapi permisere : 
ita paucis diebus per licentiam absumpta sunt quae 
adversus necessitates in longum sufFecissent. Civilis 
medium agmen cum robore Batavorum obtinens 
utramque Rheni ripam, quo truculentior visu foret, 
Germanorum catervis complet. adsultante per campos 
equite ; simul naves in adversum amnem agebantur. 
Hinc veteranarum cohortium signa, inde depromptae 
silvis lucisque^ ferarum imagines, ut cuique genti inire 
proelium mos est, mixta belli civilis ^ externique facie 
obstupefecerant obsesses. Et spem obpugnantium 
augebat amplitude valli, quod duabus legionibus 
situm vix quinqUe milia armatorum Romanorum 
tuebantur ; sed lixarum multitude turbata pace illuc 
cengregata et belle ministra aderat. 

XXIII. Pars castrerum in collem leniter exurgens, 
pars aequo adibatur. Quippe illis hibernis obsideri 
premique Germanias Augustus crediderat, neque 
umquam id malorum ut ebpugnatum ultre legienes 
nostras venirent; inde non loco neque munimentis 

1 ut Lipsius : vi M. ^ luusque M. 

3 civili M. 



1 That is, for about 12,000 men when at full strength. 
42 



BOOK IV. xxii.-xxiii. 

from many quarters the commanders of the legions, 
Munius Lupercus and Numisius Rufus, began to 
strengthen the pahsade and rampart of their camp. 
They tore down the buildings that had been erected 
during the long peace, and which in fact that grown 
into a town not far from the camp, for they did not 
wish them to be of service to the foe. But they did 
not take sufficient care to have supplies collected; 
they allowed the troops to pillage : so that in a few 
days the soldiers' recklessness exhausted what would 
have met their needs for a long time. Civilis took his 
post in the centre of his army along with the pick 
of the Batavi, and to make a more frightful appear- 
ance, he filled both banks of the Rhine with bands of 
Germans, while his cavalry ranged the open plains ; 
and at the same time the ships moved up stream. On 
one side were the standards of the veteran cohorts, on 
the other the images of ■wild beasts taken from the 
woods and groves, which each tribe carries into battle : 
these emblems, suggesting at once civil and foreign 
wars, terrified the besieged troops. In addition the 
besiegers were encouraged by the extent of the 
Roman ramparts, which had been built for two 
legions,^ but which now had barely five thousand 
armed Romans to defend them ; there was, however, 
also a crowd of sutlers who had gathered there at 
the first trouble and who assisted in the struggle. 

XXIII. Part of the camp lay on a gentle slope ; 
part could be approached on level ground. Augustus 
had beUeved that these winter quarters could keep 
the Germanics in hand and indeed in subjection, and 
had never thought of such a disaster as to have the 
Germans actually assail our legions ; therefore 
nothing had been done to add to the strength of the 

43 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

labor additus : vis et arma satis placebant. Batavi 
Transrhenanique, quo discreta virtus manifestius 
spectaretur, sibi quaeque gens consistunt, eminus 
lacessentes. Post ubi pleraque telorum turribus 
pinnisque moenium inrita haerebant et desuper saxis 
vulnerabantur, clamore atque impetu invasere vallum, 
adpositis plerique scalis, alii per testudinem suorum ; 
scandebantque iam quidam, cum gladiis et armorum 
incussu praecipitati sudibus et pilis obruuntur, 
praeferoces initio et rebus secundis nimii, Sed turn 
praedae cupidine adversa quoque tolerabant; ma- 
chinas etiam, insolitum sibi, ausi. Nee ulla ipsis 
sollertia: perfugae captivique docebant struere 
materias in modum pontis, mox subiectis rotis pro- 
pellere, ut alii superstantes tamquam ex aggere 
proeliarentur, pars intus occulti muros subruerent. 
Sed excussa ballistis saxa stravere informe opus. Et 
cratis vineasque parantibus adactae tormentis arden- ! 
tes hastae, ultroque ipsi obpugnatores ignibus pete- 
bantur, donee desperata vi verterent consilium ad 
moras, baud ignari paucorum dierum inesse alimenta 
et multum imbellis turbae ; simul ex inopia proditio 
et fluxa servitiorum fides ac fortuita belli sperabantur. 

1 The Bructeri, Tencteri, and Frisii (chapters xv, xxi). 
44 



BOOK IV. xxiii. 

position or of the fortifications : the armed force 
seemed sufficient. The Batavi and the peoples from 
across the Rhine ,^ to exhibit their individual prowess 
more clearly, formed each tribe by itself and opened 
fire first from some distance ; but when most of their 
weapons stuck uselessly in the towers and battle- 
ments and they were suffering from the stones shot 
do^\•n on them, with a shout they assailed the ram- 
parts, many raising scaling-ladders, others climbing 
on a " tortoise " formed by their comrades. Some 
were already in the act of mounting the walls, when 
the legionaries threw them down with their swords 
and shields and buried them under a shower of 
stakes and javelins. These peoples are always at 
first too impetuous and easily emboldened by suc- 
cess ; but now in their greed for booty they were 
ready to brave reverses as well, venturing even to 
use siege machines also, which they are not accus- 
tomed to employ. They had no skill in these them- 
selves : deserters and captives taught them how to 
build of timber a kind of bridge, to put wheels under 
the structure, and then to push it forward, so that 
some standing on the top might fight as from a 
mound and others concealed within might undermine 
the walls ; but stones shot from ballistae broke up 
the rude structure, and when they began to prepare 
screens and sheds, the Romans shot blazing darts at 
these v\ith cross-bows, and threatened the assailants 
also with fire, until the barbarians, despairing of 
success by force, changed to a policy of delay, being 
well aware that the camp had provisions for only a 
i, few days and that it contained a great crowd of 
j non-combatants ; at the same time they counted on 
I treachery as a result of want, and on the uncertain 
faith of the slaves and the chances of war. 

45 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

XXIV. Flaccus interim cognito castrorum obsidio 
et missis per Gallias qui auxilia concirent, lectos e ^ 
legionibus Dillio Voculae duoetvicensima,e legionis 
legato tradit, ut quam maximis per ripam itineribus 
celeraret, ipse navibus vectus,^ invalidus corpore, 
invisus militibus. Neque enim ambigue fremebant^ : 
emissas a Mogontiaco Batavorum cohortis, dissimula- 
tes Civilis conatus, adsciri in societatem Germanos. 
Non Primi Antonii neque Muciani ope Vespasianum 
magis adolevisse. Aperta odia armaque palam- 
depelli : fraudem et dolum obscura eoque inevitabilia. 
Civilem stare contra, struere aciem : Hordeonium e 
cubiculo et lectulo iubere quidquid hosti conducat. 
Tot armatas fortissimorum virorum manus unius 
senis valetudine regi : quin potius interfecto traditore 
fortunam virtutemque suam malo omine exolverent. 
His inter se vocibus instinctos flammavere insuper 
adlatae a Vespasiano litterae, quas Flaccus, quia 
occultari nequibant, pro contione recitavit, vinctosque 
qui attulerant ad Vitellium misit. 

XXV. Sic mitigatis animis Bonnam, hiberna 
primae legionis, ventura. Infensior illic miles culpam 
cladis in Hordeonium vertebat : eius iussu derectam * 

^ e om. M. 

* vectus add. Haase. 
^ fremebant Rhenamus : pmebant M. 

* derecta M. 

^ At his headquarters at Mayence. 

2 The Twenty-second and the Fourth Macedonian. 

^ At Vetera. Cf. chap. xx. 

46 



BOOK IV. xxiv.-xxv. 

XXIV. Flaccus ^ meanwhile, on hearing that the 
camp was besieged, sent emissaries through the 
Gallic pro\'inces to call out auxiliary forces, and en- 
trusted troops picked from his two legions ^ to Dillius 
Vocula, commander of the Twenty-second legion, 
viith orders to hurry as rapidly as possible along the 
bank of the Rhine ; Flaccus himself went by boat, 
being in poor health and unpopular with the soldiers ; 
for indeed they murmured against him in no uncer- 
tain tone, sapng that he had let the Batavian cohorts 
go from Mogontiacum, had concealed his knowledge 
of the undertakings of Ci\iUs, and was making allies 
of the Germans. " Neither Primus Antonius nor 
Mucianus," they declared, " has contributed more 
to the strength of Vespasian than Flaccus. Frank 
hatred and armed action are openly repelled : 
treachery and deceit are hidden and so cannot be 
guarded against. Ci\'iHs stands before us and forms 
his battle line : Hordeonius from his chamber and 
his bed issues orders that are to the enemy's advan- 
tage. All these armed companies of the bravest 
men are dependent on the whim of one sick old man ! 
Rather let us kill the traitor and free our fortune and 
bravery from this e\il omen I " \\Tien they had 
already roused one another by such exhortations, 
they were further inflamed by a letter from Ves- 
pasian, which Flaccus, being unable to conceal it, 
read aloud before a general assembly, and then sent 
the men who had brought it in chains to Vitelhus. 

XXV. In this way the soldiers' anger was appeased 
and they came to Bonn, the ^Wnter quarters of the 
First legion. There the soldiers were still more 
threatening and placed the blame for their disaster ^ 
on Hordeonius : for they declared that it was by his 

47 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

adversus Batavos aciem, tamquam a Mogontiaco 
legiones sequerentur; eiusdem proditione caesos, 
nullis supervenientibus auxiUis : ignota haec ceteris 
exercitibus neque imperatori suo nuntiari, cum ad- 
cursu tot provinciarum extingui repens perfidia 
potuerit. Hordeonius exemplaris omnium litterarum, 
quibus per Gallias Britanniamque et^ Hispanias 
auxilia orabat, exercitui recitavit instituitque pessi- 
mum facinus, ut epistulae aquiliferis legionum tra- 
derentur, a quis ante militi quam ducibus lege- 
bantur. Tum e seditiosis unum vinciri iubet, magis 
usurpandi iuris, quam quia unius culpa foret. Mo- 
tusque Bonna exercitus in coloniam Agrippinensem, 
adfluentibus auxiliis Gallorum, qui primo rem Ro- 
manam enixe iuvabant : mox valescentibus Germanis 
pleraeque civitates adversum nos arma sumpsere ^ 
spe libertatis et, si exuissent servitiimi, cupidine im- 
peritandi. Gliscebat iracundia legionum, nee ter- 
rorem unius militis vincula indiderant : quin idem 
ille arguebat ultro conscientiam ducis, tamquam | 
nuntius inter Civilem Flaccumque falso crimine ! 
testis veri opprimeretur. Conscendit tribunal Vo- 
cula mira constantia, prensumque militem ac voci- 

^ ex M. * sumpsere add. Agricola. 

48 



BOOK IV. XXV. 

orders that they had given battle to the Batavi, 
under assurance that the legions were follo^ving 
from Mogontiacum; that by his treachery their 
comrades had been killed, since no help came to 
them : that these facts were unknown to the rest 
of the armies and were not reported to their emperor, 
although this fresh treachery might have been 
blocked by a prompt effort on the part of all the 
provinces. Hordeonius read to the army copies of 
all the letters that he had dispatched throughout 
the Gauls, Britain, and the Spains asking for aid. 
Moreover, he established the worst kind of precedent 
by turning over all letters to the eagle-bearers of the 
legions, who read them to the common soldiers before 
they were disclosed to the commanders. Then he 
ordered a single one of the mutineers to be arrested, 
rather to \indicate his authority than because the 
fault was that of an individual. The army next 
advanced from Bonn to Cologne, while Galhc auxihary 
troops poured in, for the Gauls at first gave vigorous 
assistance to the Roman cause : later, as the German 
strength increased, many states took up arms against 
us, inspired by hope of freedom and by a desire to 
have an empire of their own, if they once were rid 
of servitude. The angry temper of the legions 
increased and the arrest of a single soldier had 
brought them no fear : indeed this same soldier 
actually charged the general with being privy to 
the revolt, claiming that, ha\'ing been an agent 
between Civihs and Flaccus, he was now being 
crushed on a false charge because he could bear 
witness to the truth. Vocula with admirable courage 
mounted the tribunal and ordered the soldier to be 
seized, and, in spite of his cries, directed that he be 

49 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

ferantem duci ad supplicium iussit : et dum mali 
pavent, optimus quisque iussis paruere. Exim 
consensu ducem Voculam poscentibus, Flaccus 
summam rerum ei permisit. 

XXVI. Sed discordis animos multa efFerabant ^ : 
inopia stipendii frumentique et simul dilectum 
tributaque Galliae aspemantes, Rhenus incognita 
illi caelo siccitate vix navium patiens, arti commeatus, 
dispositae per omnem ripam stationes quae Germanos 
vado arcerent, eademque de causa minus frugum et 
plures -qui consumerent. Apud imperitos prodigii 
loco accipiebatur ipsa aquarum penuria, tamquam 
nos amnes quoque et Vetera imperii munimenta 
desererent: quod in pace fors seu natura, tunc 
fatum et ira deum ^ vocabatur. 

Ingressis Novaesium sexta decima legio coniungitur. 
Additus Voculae in partem curarum Herennius 
Gallus legatus ; nee ausi ad hostem pergere . . .^ 
(loco Gelduba nomen est) castra fecere. Ibi struenda 
acie, muniendo vallandoque et ceteris belli medita- 
mentis militem firmabant. Utque praeda ad virtu- 
tem accenderetur, in proximos Cugernorum * pagos, 
qui societatem Civilis acceperant, ductus a ^ Vocula 
exercitus ; pars cum Herennio Gallo permansit. 

XXVII. Forte navem haud procul castris, fru- 

^ efferabant Beroaldus : efferebant M. 

2 deum Nipperdey : di M. 

^ lacunam not. Wurm. 

* Cugernorum Xipperdei/ : gugemorum M. 

^ a om. M. 



^ Neuss, near Diisseldorf, but to the west of the Rhine. 

« Gellep. 

^ Living between the Ubii and the Batavians. 



^o 



\ 



BOOK IV. xxv.-xxvii. 

led away to punishment. \Miile the disloyal were 
cowed, the best obeyed the order. Then, since the 
troops unanimously demanded Vocula as their 
general, Flaccus turned over to him the chief 
command. 

XX\T. But there were many things that exasper- 
ated their rebellious temper : there was a lack of pay 
and grain, and at the same time the Gallic pro\inces 
scornfully refused a le\y and tribute ; the Rhine 
hardly floated boats, owing to a drought unpre- 
cedented in that climate ; repro\Tisionment was ham- 
pered ; detachments were posted all along the bank 
of the Rhine to keep the Germans from fording it, 
and for the same reason there was less grain while 
there were more to eat it. The ignorant regarded 
even the low water as a prodigy, as if the very 
rivers, the ancient defences of our empire, were 
faiHng us : what they would have called in time of 
peace an act of chance or nature, they then called 
fate and the -wrath of the gods. 

^^'hen our troops entered Novaesium ^ the Six- 
teenth legion joined them. Vocula now had Heren- 
nius Gallus associated \nth him to share his respon- 
sibihties ; and not daring to move against the enemv, 
they pitched camp at a place called Gelduba.^ 
There they improved the morale of their soldiers by 
drilling them in battle formation, by ha\ing them 
erect fortifications and a palisade, and by all other 
forms of military training ; and to fire their bravery 
by gi^^ng them a chance to pillage, Vocula led a force 
into the nearest cantons of the Cugemi,^ who had 
alhed themselves -with Civihs ; part of the troops 
remained with Herennius Gallus. 

XX\^II. Now it happened that not far from camp 

e2 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

mento gravem, cum per vada haesisset, Germani in 
suam riparn trahebant. Non tulit Gallus misitque 
subsidio cohortem : auctus et Germanorum numerus, 
paulatimque adgregantibus se auxiliis acie cer- 
tatum. Germani multa cum strage nostrorum navem 
abripiunt. Victi, quod turn in morem verterat, non 
suam ignaviam, sed perfidiam legati culpabant. 
Protractum e tentorio, scissa veste, verberato corpore, 
quo pretiOj quibus consciis prodidisset exercitum, 
dicere iubent. Redit in Hordeonium invidia : ilium 
auctorem sceleris, hunc ministrum vocant, donee 
exitium minitantibus exterritus proditionem et ipse 
Hordeonio obiecit; vinctusque adventu demum 
Voculae exolvitur. Is postera die auctores seditionis 
morte adfecit: tanta illi exercitui diversitas inerat 
licentiae patientiaeque. Haud dubie gregarius miles 
VitelUo fldus, splendidissimus quisque in Vespasianum 
proni : inde scelerum ac suppliciorum vices et mixtus 
obsequio furor, ut contineri non possent qui puniri 
poterant. 

XXVIII. At Civilem immensis auctibus universa 
Germania extollebat, societate nobilissimis obsidum 
firmata. Ille, ut cuique proximum, vastari Ubios 
Trevirosque,etaliam manum^ Mosam amnem transire 
iubet, ut Menapios et Morinos et extrema Galliarum 

^ aliam manum Freinsheim: alia manu M. 
52 



BOOK IV. xxvii.-xxviir. 

the Germans started to drag to their bank a ship 
loaded with grain which had grounded on a bar. 
Gallus did not wish to allow this and sent a cohort to 
rescue the ship : the Germans also were reinforced, 
and as assistance gradually gathered, the two sides 
enaraffed in a pitched battle. The Germans inflicted 
heavy losses on our men and got the ship away. 
The defeated ^Roman troops, as had then become 
their fashion, did not blame their own lack of 
energy, but charged their commander ^\"ith treachery. 
They dragged him from his tent, tore his clothing 
and beat him, bidding him tell what bribe he had 
received and who his accompHces were in betraying 
his troops. Their anger toward Hordeonius returned : 
they called him the author and Gallus the tool, until, 
frightened by their threats to kill him, he himself 
actually charged Hordeonius with treachery ; and 
then Hordeonius was put in chains and only released 
on Vocula's arrival. The following day Vocula had the 
ringleaders in the mutiny put to death, so great was 
the contrast in this army between unbridled hcence 
and obedient submission. Undoubtedly the common 
soldiers were faithful to VitelUus, but all the officers 
inchned to favour Vespasian : hence that alternation 
of crimes and punishment and that combination of 
rage with obedience, so that although the troops 
could be punished they could not be controlled. 

XXVni. But meanwhile the power of Civilis was 
being increased by huge reinforcements from all 
Germany, the alUances being secured by hostages 
of the highest rank. He ordered the peoples who 
were nearest to harry the Ubii and Treviri, and 
directed another force to cross the Meuse to threaten 
the Menapii and Morini and the borders of the Gallic 

53 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

quateret. Actae utrobique praedae, infestius in 
Ubiis, quod gens Germanicae originis eiurata patria 
[Romanorum nomen] i Agrippinenses vocarentur. 
Gaesae cohortes eorum in vico Marcoduro incuriosius 
agentes, quia procul ripa aberant. Nee quievere 
Ubii quo minus praedas e Germania peterent, primo 
impune, dein circumventi sunt, per omne id bellum 
meliore usi fide quam fortuna. Contusis Ubiis 
gravior et successu rerum ferocior Civilis obsidium 
legionum urgebat, intentis custodiis ne quis occultus 
nuntius venientis auxilii penetraret. Machinas 
molemque operum Batavis delegat: Transrhenanos 
proelium poscentis ad scindendum vallum ire detrusos- 
que redintegrare certamen iubet, superante multi- 
tudine et faeili damno. 

XXIX. Nee finem labori nox attulit : congestis 
circum lignis accensisque, simul epulantes, ut quisque 
vino incaluerat, ad pugnam temeritate inani fere- 
bantur. Quippe ipsorum tela per tenebras vana : 
Romani conspicuam barbarorum aciem, et si quis 
audacia aut insignibus efFulgens,^ ad ictum destina- 
bant. Intellectum id Civili et restincto igne misceri 

^ Romanorum nomen seel. Gruter. 
^ et f ulgens M. 

^ The Menapii lived between the Meuse and the Scheldt ; 
the Morini to the south-west of the Menapii on the coast. 
* Cf . i. 56. 3 Now Duren. 

54 



BOOK IV. xxviii.-xxix. 

provinces.^ Booty was secured from both districts, 
but they proceeded with greater severity in the case 
of the Ubii, because, though a tribe of Germanic 
origin, they had forsworn their native land and 
taken the Roman name of Agrippinenses.^ Some 
of their cohorts had been cut to pieces in the district 
of Marcodurum,^ where they were operating care- 
lessly, being far from the bank of the Rhine. Yet 
the Ubii did not quietly refrain from making plun- 
dering raids on Germany, at first with impunity ; 
but later they were cut off, and in fact throughout 
this entire war their good faith proved superior to 
their good fortune. After crushing the Ubii, 
CiviUs became more threatening, and, being em- 
boldened bv his success, pressed on the siege of the 
legions, keeping strict guard to see that no secret 
messenger should get through to report the approach 
of assistance. He charged the Batavi -with the duty 
of building machines and siege works : the forces 
from across the Rhine who demanded battle, he told 
to go and tear down the Romans' rampart, and when 
they were repulsed, he made them renew the con- 
flict, for their number was more than enough and 
the loss easy to bear. 

XXIX. Not even night ended the struggle. The 
assailants hghted piles of wood about the town, and 
while they feasted, as man after man became in- 
flamed with wine, they rushed to battle with un- 
availing recklessness, for their weapons, thro^\•n into 
the darkness, were of no effect : but the Romans 
aimed at the barbarians' line, which they could clearly 
see, and especially at anyone who was marked by his 
courage or decorations. Civilis, grasping the situ- 
ation, ordered his men to put out their fires and to 

55 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

cuncta tenebris et armis iubet. Turn vero strepitus 

dissoni, casus incerti,^ neque feriendi neque decHnandi 

providentia : unde clamor acciderat, circumagere 

corpora, tendere artus ^ ; nihil prodesse virtus, fors 

cuncta turbare et ignavorum saepe telis fortissimi 

cadere. Apud Germanos inconsulta ira: Romanus 

miles periculorum gnarus ^ ferratas sudis, gravia saxa 

non forte iaciebat. Ubi sonus molientium aut 

adpositae scalae hostem in manus dederant, pro- 

pellere umbone, pilo sequi ; multos in moenia egressos 

pugionibus fodere. Sic exhausta nocte novam aciem 

dies aperuit. 

XXX. Eduxerant Batavi turrim duplici tabulato, 

quam praetoriae portae (is aequissimus locus) pro- 

pinquantem promoti contra validi asseres et incussae 

trabes perfregere multa superstantium pernicie. 

Pugnatumque in perculsos subita et prospera erup- 

tione ; simul a legionariis peritia et arte praestantibus 

plura struebantur. Praecipuum pavorem intulit 

suspensum et nutans machinamentum, quo repente 

demisso praeter suorum ora singuli pluresve hostium 

sublime rapti verso pondere intra* castra effunde- 

bantur. Civilis omissa expugnandi ^ spe rursus per 

^ casus incerti codd. dett. : corsus inceptti in frustulo mem- 
branae adglutinato M*. 

^ artus Lipsius : arcus M. 

^ gnarus b^, Bhenanus : ignarus M. * infra M. 

* expugnandi Euperti : obpugnandi 3£. 

^ The gate to the camp toward the enemy, so named from 
its relation to the quarters of the commanding officer, the 
praetorium. 

56 



BOOK IV. xxLX.-xxx. 

add the confusion of darkness to the combat. Then 
in truth it was all discordant cries, uncertain chances, 
no one could see to strike or parry : wherever a shout 
was raised, there they turned and lunged; courage 
was of no avail, chance made utter confusion, and 
often the bravest fell under the weapons of cowards. 
The Germans obeyed only blind fury ; the Roman 
soldiers, being experienced in danger, did not shoot 
their iron-tipped pikes and heavy stones at random. 
When the sound showed them that men were climb- 
ing up the walls, or the raising of ladders delivered 
their foes into their hands, they beat them down 
with the bosses of their shields and followed this 
action with their javehns ; many who scaled the 
walls they stabbed ^vith daggers. When the night 
had been thus spent, the day disclosed a new 
struggle. 

XXX. The Batavi had built a tower with two 
stories. This they pushed toward the praetorian 
gate,^ as the ground was most level there, but the 
Romans thrust out against it strong poles, and with 
repeated blows of beams broke it down, inflicting 
heavy loss on those who were on it. Then, while 
their foes were in disorder, they made a sudden and 
successful sally upon them ; and at the same time 
the legionaries, who were superior in skill and 
artifices, devised further means against them. The 
barbarians were most terrified by a well-balanced 
machine poised above them, which being suddenly 
dropped caught up one or more of the enemy before 
the eyes of their comrades and with a shift of the 
counterweight threw them into camp. Civilis now 
gave up hope of capturing the camp by storm and 
again began an inactive siege, trying meanwhile to 

57 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

otium adsidebat, nuntiis et promissis fidem legionum 
convellens. 

XXXI. Haec in Germania ante Cremonense 
proelium gesta, cuius eventum litterae Primi Antonii 
docuere, addito Caecinae edicto ; et praefectus 
cohortis e victis,^ Alpinius Montanus, fortunam par- 
tium praesens fatebatur. Diversi hinc motus ani- 
morum : auxilia e Gallia, quis nee amor neque 
odium in partis, militia ^ sine adfectu, hortantibus 
praefectis statim a Vitellio desciscunt : vetus miles 
cunctabatur. Sed adigente Hordeonio Flacco, in- 
stantibus tribunis, dixit sacramentum, non vultu 
neque animo satis adfirmans : et cum cetera iuris 
iurandi verba conciperent, Vespasiani nomen haesi- 
tantes aut levi murmure et plerumque silentio 
transmittebant. 

XXXII. Lectae deinde pro contione epistulae 
Antonii ad Civilem suspiciones militum inritavere, 
tamquam ad socium partium scriptae et de Ger- 
manico exercitu hostiliter. Mox adlatis Geldubam 
in castra nuntiis eadem dicta factaque, et missus 
cum mandatis Montanus ad Civilem ut absisteret* 
bello neve externa armis falsis velaret : si Vespasi 
anum iuvare adgressus foret, satis factum coeptis. 
Ad ea Civilis primo callide : post ubi videt Montanum 
praeferocem ingenio paratumque in res novas, orsus 

^ victis Ehenanus : victus M. 
^ militia Rhenanus : militiae M. * absistere M. 

^ That is, before the end of October, 69 a. d. 
^ That is, he pretended to favour Vespasian, but he was 
actually declaring war on the Roman Empire. 

58 



BOOK IV. xxx.-xxxii. 

shake the confidence of the legions by messages and 
promises. 

XXXI. These things took place in Germany 
before the battle of Cremona,^ the result of which 
was learned through a letter from Primus Antonius, 
to which was added a proclamation issued by Caecina ; 
and a prefect of a cohort from the defeated side, 
one Alpinius Montanus, acknowledged in person 
the misfortune of his party. This news aroused 
different emotions : the Gallic auxiharies, who felt 
no party attachment or hatred and who served 
without enthusiasm, at the instigation of their 
officers immediately abandoned Vitelhus ; the 
veteran soldiers hesitated. But at the command of 
Hordeonius Flaccus and moved by the appeals of 
their tribunes, they took an oath which neither their 
looks nor their wills quite confirmed : and while they 
repeated the greater part of the usual formula, they 
hesitated at Vespasian's name, some murmuring it 
faintly, most passing it over in silence. 

XXXII. Then some letters of Antonius to Civilis. 
being read before the assembled troops, roused their 
suspicions, for they seemed to be addressed to an 
ally and spoke in hostile fashion of the German army. 
Presently, when the news reached the Roman camp 
at Gelduba, it caused the same discussions and the 
same acts ; and Montanus was sent to Civilis with 
orders bidding him give up the war and cease cloaking 
hostile acts with a false pretext : ^ he was to say that 
if CiviUs had moved to help Vespasian, his efforts 
had already been sufficient. To this Civilis at first 
made a crafty answer : afterwards, when he saw that 
Montanus was of an impetuous nature and inclined 
to revolt, he began to complain of the dangers which 

59 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

a questu periculisque quae per quinque et viginti 
annos in castris Romanis exhausisset, " egregium " 
inquit "pretiura laborum recepi,i neeem fratris et 
vincula mea et saevissimas huius exercitus voces, 
quibus ad supplicium petitus iure gentium poenas 
reposco. Vos autem Treviri ceteraeque servientium 
animae, quod praemium efFusi totiens sanguinis 
expectatis nisi ingratam militiam, inmortalia tributa, 
virgas, securis et dominorum ingenia? En ego 
praefectus unius cohortis et Canninefates Batavique, 
exigua Galliarum portio, vana ilia castrorum spatia 
excidimus vel saepta ferro fameque premimus. De- 
nique ausos aut libertas- sequetur aut victi idem 
erimus." Sic accensum, sed molliora referre iussura 
dimittit: ille ut inritus legationis redit, cetera 
dissimulans, quae mox erupere. 

XXXIII. Civilis parte copiarum retenta veteranas 
cohortis et quod e Germanis maxime promptum 
adversus Voculam exercitumque eius mittit, lulio 
Maximo et Claudio Victore, sororis suae filio, ducibus. 
Rapiunt in transitu hiberna alae Asciburgii sita; 
adeoque improvisi castra involavere ut non adloqui, 
non pandere aciem Vocula potuerit : id solum ut in 
tumultu monuit, subsignano milite media firmare : 

^ recipi M. 



— 1 Asberg. 

* At Gelduba, now Gellep. Gf. chap, xxvi above. 

60 



BOOK IV. xxxn -xxxiii. 

he had passed through for twenty-five years in the 
camps of the Romans. " A glorious reward indeed," 
said he, " have I gained for my labours — my brother's 
murder, my own chains, and the savage cries of this 
army here, demanding my punishment ; the right of 
nations warrants me in demanding vengeance for 
these things. You Treviri like^vise and all the rest 
of you who have the spirits of slaves, what return do 
you expect for the blood you have so often shed save 
an ungrateful ser\ice in arms, endless tribute, 
floggings, the axes of the executioner, and all that 
your masters' wits can devise? See how I, prefect 
of a single cohort, with the Canninefates and Batavi, 
a trifling part of all the Gauls, have shown their vast 
camps to be in vain and have destroyed them or am 
besetting them and pressing them hard with sword 
and famine. In short, be bold ! Either liberty will 
follow your daring or we shall all be defeated to- 
gether." With such words Ci\ilis inflamed Montanus, 
but he sent him away with orders to make a mild 
report. So Montanus returned, bearing himself as 
though he had failed in his embassy, but concealing 
all that later came to light. 

XXXIII. Civilis retained part of his troops with 
him, but dispatched the veteran cohorts and the best 
of the Germans under the leadership of Julius 
Maximus and Claudius Victor, his own nephew, to 
attack Vocula and his army. On their march they 
plundered the winter quarters of a squadron of 
cavalry at Asciburgium ; ^ and they assailed Vocula 's 
camp 2 so unexpectedly that he could not address 
his soldiers or form his men in hne : the only advice 
that he could give in the confusion was to strengthen 
the centre with the legionaries : the auxiliary' troops 

6i 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

auxilia passim circumfusa sunt. Eques prorupit, 
exceptusque compositis hostium ordinibus terga in 
suos vertit, Caedes inde, non proelium. Et Ner- 
viorum cohortes, nietu seu perfidia, latera nostrorum 
nudavere : sic ad legiones perventum, quae amissis 
signis intra vallum sternebantur, cum repente novo 
auxilio fortuna pugnae mutatur. Vasconum lectae 
a Galba cohortes ac turn accitae, dum castris pro- 
pinquant, audito proeliantium clamore intentos 
hostis a tergo invadunt latioremque quam pro 
numero terrorem faciunt, aliis a Novaesio, aliis a 
Mogontiaco universas copias advenisse credentibus. 
Is error Romanis^ addit animos, et dum alienis viribus 
confidunt, suas recepere. Fortissimus quisque e 
Batavis, quantum peditum erat, conciduntur ^ : eques 
evasit cum signis captivisque, quos prima acie corri- 
puerant. Caesorum eo die in partibus nostris maior 
numerus set^ imbellior, e Germanis ipsa robora. 

XXXIV. Dux uterque pari culpa meritus adversa 
prosperis defuere. Nam Civilis si maioribus copiis 
instruxisset aciem, circumiri a tam paucis cohoi'tibus 
nequisset castraque perrupta excidisset : Vocula nee 
adventum hostium exploravit, eoque simul egressus 
victusque ; dein victoriae parum confisus,tritis^ frustra 

^ is error Romanis : is error M. 

^ conciduntur Halm : f unduntur M. 

* set Madvig : et If. * triti M. 

^ The ancestors apparently of the modem Basques, then 
living in the north-eastern part of Hispania Tarraconensis. 

62 



BOOK IV. xxxiii.-xxYiv. 

were scattered about everywhere. The cavalry 
charged, but, being received by the enemy in good 
order, fled back to their own lines. WTiat followed 
was a massacre, not a battle. The Ner\ian cohorts 
also, prompted by fear or treachery, left our flanks 
unprotected : thus the burden now^ fell upon the 
legionaries, and they, having lost their standards, 
were already being cut dowTi inside the palisade, 
when suddenly unexpected aid changed the fortune 
of the battle. Some cohorts of the Vascones ^ which 
Galba had levied earher and which had now been 
sent for, approaching camp and hearing the sound 
of the struggle, assailed the enemy in the rear while 
they were absorbed in the contest, and caused a 
more widespread panic than their numbers war- 
ranted, some imagining that all the troops from 
Novaesium, others that those from Mogantiacum, 
had arrived. The enemy's mistake inspired the 
Romans with courage, and while trusting in the 
strength of others, they recovered their own. All 
the best of the Bata\ian infantry were cut dowTi; 
their horse escaped with the standards and captives 
that they had seized at the first onset. The number 
of the killed on our side that day was larger, but 
was not made up of the bravest ; the Germans lost 
their very best troops. 

XXXIV. The generals on both sides by equal 
faults deserved their reverses and failed to use their 
success : had Civihs put more troops in line, he could 
not have been surrounded by so few cohorts, and 
after breaking into the Roman camp, he would have 
destroyed it : Vocula failed to discover the enemy's 
approach, and therefore the moment that he sallied 
forth he was beaten ; then, lacking confidence in his 

63 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

diebus castra in hostemmovit,quemsistatim impellere 
cursumque rerum sequi maturasset, solvere obsidium 
legionum eodem impetu potuit. Temptaverat in- 
terim Civilis obsessorum animos, tamquam perditae 
apud Romanos res et suis victoria provenisset : 
circumferebantur signa vexillaque, ostentati etiam 
captivi. Ex quibus unus, egregium facinus ausus, 
clara voce gesta patefecit,confossus ilico ^ a Germanis : 
unde maior indici fides ; simul vastatione incendiisque 
flagrantium villarum venire victorem exercitum 
intellegebatur. In conspectu castrorum constitui 
signa fossamque et vallum circumdari Vocula iubet : 
depositis impedimentis sarcinisque expediti cer- 
tarent. Hinc in ducem clamor pugnam poscentium ; 
et minari adsueverant. Ne tempore quidem ad 
ordinandam aciem capto incompositi fessique proe- 
lium sumpsere ; nam Civilis aderat, non minus vitiis 
hostium quam virtute suorum fretus. Varia apud 
Romanos fortuna et seditiosissimus quisque ignavus : 
quidam recentis victoriae memores retinere locimi, 
ferire hostem, seque et proximos hortari et redinte- 
grata acie manus ad obsessos tendere ne tempori 
deessent. Illi cuncta e muris cementes omnibus 
portis prorumpunt. Ac forte Civilis lapsu equi pro- 

^ illico Freinsheim : ilico Halm : illic M. 
64 



BOOK IV. XXXIV. 

victory, he wasted some days before advancing against 
the foe, whereas if he had been prompt to press him 
hard and to follow up events, he might have raised 
the siege of the legions at one blow. Meanwhile 
Civilis had tested the temper of the besieged by 
pretending that the Roman cause was lost and that 
his side was victorious : he paraded the Roman 
ensigns and standards ; he even exhibited captives. 
One of these had the courage to do an heroic deed, 
shouting out the truth, for which he was at once 
run through by the Germans : their act inspired the 
greater confidence in his statement ; and at the same 
time the harried fields and the fires of the burning 
farm-houses announced the approach of a victorious 
army. When in sight of camp Vocula ordered the 
standards to be set up and a ditch and a palisade to 
be constructed about them, bidding his troops leave 
their baggage and kits there that they might fight 
unencumbered. This caused the troops to cry out 
against their commander and to demand instant 
battle ; and in fact they had gro^^•n accustomed to 
threaten. Without taking time even to form a line, 
disordered and weary as they were, they engaged the 
enemy ; for Civilis was ready for them, trusting in 
his opponents' mistakes no less than in the bravery 
of his own troops. Fortune varied on the Roman 
side, and the most mutinous proved cowards : some 
there were who, remembering their recent \ictory, 
kept their places, struck at the enemy, exhorted one 
another and their neighbours as well ; reforming the 
line, they held out their hands to the besieged, 
begging them not to lose their opportunity. The 
latter, who saw everything from the walls, sallied 
forth from all the gates of their camp. Now at this 

65 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

stratus, credita per utrumque exercitum fama vul- 
neratum aut interfectum, immane quantum suis 
pavoris et hostibus alacritatis indidit : sed Vocula 
omissis fugientium tergis vallum turrisque castrorum 
augebat, tamquam rursus obsidium immineret, 
corrupta totiens victoria non falso suspectus bellum 
malle. 

XXXV. Nihil aeque exercitus nostros quam egestas 
copiarum fatigabat. Impedimenta legionum cum 
imbelli turba Novaesium missa ut inde terrestri 
itinere frumentum adveherent ; nam flumine hostes 
potiebantur. Primum agmen securum incessit, 
nondum satis firmo Civile. Qui ubi rursum missos 
Novaesium frumentatores datasque in praesidium 
cohortis velut multa pace ingredi accepit, rarum apud 
signa militem, arma in vehiculis, cunctos licentia 
vagos, compositus invadit, praemissis qui pontis et 
viarum angusta insiderent. Pugnatum longo agmine 
et incerto Marte, donee proelium nox dirimeret. 
Cohortes Geldubam perrexere, manentibus, ut 
fuerant, castris, quae relictorum illic militum praesidio 
tenebantur. Non erat dubium quantum in regressu 
discriminis adeundum foret frumentatoribus onustis 
perculsisque.i Addit exercitui suo Vocula mille 
delectos e quinta et quinta decima legionibus apud 

^ perculsisque Agricola: periculisque M. 
66 



BOOK IV. xxxiv.-xxxv. 

moment Civilis's horse happened to slip and throw 
him ; whereupon both sides accepted the report that 
he had been wounded or killed. It was marvellous 
how this belief terrified his men and inspired their 
foes with enthusiasm : yet \ ocula, neglecting' to 
pursue his flying foes, proceeded to strengthen the 
palisade and towers of his camp as if he were again 
threatened with a siege, thus by his repeated failure 
to take advantage of victory giving good ground for 
the suspicion that he preferred war to peace. 

XXXV. Nothing distressed our troops so much as 
the lack of provisions. The legions' baggage train 
was sent on to Novaesium with the men who were 
unfit for service to bring provisions from there over- 
land ; for the enemy controlled the river. The first 
convoy went without trouble, since Civilis was not 
yet strong enough to attack. But when he heard 
that the sutlers, who had been despatched again to 
Novaesium, and the cohorts escorting them were 
proceeding as if in time of peace, that there were 
few soldiers with the standards, that their arms were 
being carried in the carts while they all strolled along 
at will, he drew up his forces and attacked them, 
sending first sopie troops to occupy the bridges and 
narrow parts of the roads. They fought in a long 
hne and indecisively until at last night put an end 
to the conflict. The cohorts reached Gelduba, where 
the camp remained in its old condition, being held 
by a force which had been left there. They had 
no doubt of the great danger that they would run if 
they returned with the sutlers heavily loaded and 
in a state of terror. \'ocula reinforced his army 
with 11 thousand men picked from the Fifth and 
Fifteenth legions that had been besieged at Vetera, 

67 
F 2 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

Vetera obsessis, indomitum militem et ducibus 
infensum. Plures quam iussum erat profecti palam 
in agmine fremebant, non se ultra famem, insidias 
legatorum toleraturos : at qui remanserant, desertos 
se ^ abducta parte legionum querebantur. Duplex 
hinc seditio, aliis revocantibus Voculam, aliis redire 
in castra abnuentibus. 

XXXVI. Interim Civilis Vetera circumsedit: Vo- 
cula Geldubam atque inde Novaesium concessit, 
[Givilis capit Geldubam] ^ mox baud procul Novaesio 
equestri proelio prospere certavit. Sed miles se- 
cundis adversisque perinde ^ in exitium ducum accen- 
debatur ; et adventu quintanorum quintadecima- 
norumque auctae legiones donativum exposcunt, 
comperto pecuniam a Vitellio missam. Nee diu 
cunctatus Hordeonius nomine Vespasiani dedit, 
idque praecipuum fuit seditionis alimentum. EfFusi 
in luxum et epulas et nocturnes coetus veterem in 
Hordeonium iram renovant, nee ullo legatorum tri- 
bunorumve obsistere auso (quippe omnem pudorem 
nox ademerat) protractum e cubili interficiunt. 
Eadem in Voculam parabantur, nisi servili habitu per 
tenebras ignoratus evasisset. 

XXXVII. Ubi sedato impetu metus rediit, cen- 
turiones cum epistulis ad ci\itates Galliarum misere, 

^ que M. 

* Civilis capit Geldubam seel. Urlichs. 

* proinde M. 
68 



BOOK IV. XXXV .-XXXVII. 

troops untamed and hostile toward their com- 
manders. More men started than had been 
ordered to do so, and on the march they began to 
murmur openly that they would no longer endure 
hunger or the plots of their commanders ; but those 
who were being left behind complained that they 
were being abandoned by the ^^•ithdrawal of part 
of the legions. So a double mutiny began, some 
urging Vocula to return, others refusing to go back 
to camp. 

XXXVI, Meantime Civilis besieged Vetera : \'o- 
cula withdrew to Gelduba and then to Novaesium. 
Later he was successful in an engagement vnth the 
cavalry not far from Novaesium. But success and 
failure alike fired the soldiers with a \vish to murder 
their leaders ; and when the legionaries had been 
reinforced by the arrival of the men from the Fifth 
and Fifteenth, they began to demand the donative, 
for they had learned that Mtellius had sent the 
money. Hordeonius did not long delay, but gave 
them the gift in Vespasian's name, and this act more 
than anything else fostered the mutiny. The 
soldiers, abandoning themselves to debauchery, 
feasts, and meetings by night, revived their old 
hatred for Hordeonius, and without a legate or 
tribune daring to oppose them, for the darkness had 
taken away all sense of shame, they actually dragged 
him from his bed and killed him. They were pre- 
paring to treat Vocula in the same way, but he dis- 
guised himself in a slave's clothes and escaped in the 
darkness. 

XXXVII. When this outburst died dowTi, their 
fears returned ; and the troops sent centurions with 
letters to the Gallic communities to ask for auxiliary 

69 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

auxilia ac stipendia oraturos : ipsi, ut est vulgus sine 
rectore praeceps pavidum socors, adventante Civile 
raptis temere armis ac statim omissis, in fugam ver- 
tuntur. Res adversae discordiam peperere, iis qui 
e superiore exercitu erant causam suam dissocianti- 
bus ; Vitellii tamen imagines in castris et per proxi- 
mas Belgarum civitates repositae, cum iam Vitellius 
oceidisset. Dein mutati in paenitentiam primani 
quartanique et duoetvicensimani Voculam sequuntur, 
apud quern resumpto Vespasiani sacramento ad 
liberandum Mogontiaci obsidium ducebantur. Dis- 
cesserant obsessores, mixtus ex Chattis ^ Usipis Mat- 
tiacis exercitus, satietate praedae nee incruentati : 
quia 2 disperses 2 et nescios miles noster invaserat. 
Quin et loricam vallumque per finis suos Treviri 
struxere, magnisque in vicem cladibus cum Germanis 
certabant, donee egregia erga populum Romanum 
merita mox rebelles foedarent. 

XXXVIII. Interea Vespasianus iterum ac Titus 
consulatum absentes inierunt, maesta et multiplici 
metu suspensa civitate, quae super instantia mala 
falsos pavores induerat, descivisse Africam res novas 
moliente L. Pisone. Is pro consule * provinciae nequa- 
quam turbidus ingenio ; sed quia naves saevitia 

1 ex Cattis Bhenanus : et caitis M. 

^ incruentati quia Heraeus : incruentati via dett. : incruen- 
tati via M. 

* adispersos M. 

* pro consule add. I. Gronovius. 

1 Vitellius was killed Dec. 20 or 21. Cf. iii. 85. 

* For the Chatti, see note on chap. xii. The Usipi lived 
south of the Tencteri (chap, xxi) and west of the Chatti, 
between the Sieg and the Lahn; the Mattiaci dwelt between 
the Main, the Rhine and the Lahn, around the present 
Wiesbaden. 

70 



BOOK IV. xxxvii.-xxxviii. 

troops and contributions : they themselves, for a 
mob without a leader is always hastv, timid, and 
without energy, at the approach of Ci\iUs quickly 
caught up their arms, then immediately dropped 
them and fled. Adversity bred discord among them, 
and the men from the army of upper Germany dis- 
sociated their cause from that of the rest ; still the 
images of Vitellius were replaced in carnp and in the 
nearest Belgian communities, although he was 
already dead.^ Then, repenting their action, the 
men of the First, Fourth, and Twenty-second legions 
followed Vocula, who made them take again the oath 
of allegiance to Vespasian and led them to break the 
siege of Mogantiacum. But the besiegers, a motlev 
army made up of Chatti, Usipi, and Slattiaci,^ had 
already withdrawn, satisfied with their bootv ; 
however, they suffered some loss, for our soldiers 
had fallen on them while they were scattered and 
unsuspecting. Moreover, the Treviri built a breast- 
work and palisade along their borders and fought the 
Germans with great losses on both sides, until 
presently by their rebelhon they sulhed the record 
of their conspicuous services to the Roman people. 

XXXVIII. In the meantime \'espasian entered on 
his second consulship and Titus on his first, although 
absent from Rome : ^ the citizens, downcast and 
anxious from many fears, had added false alarms to 
the actual evils that threatened them, saying that 
Lucius Piso had plotted against the government and 
had led Africa to revolt. Piso, then pro-consul of 
Africa, was far from being a turbulent spirit ; but since 
the grain ships for Rome were now detained by the 

• This marks the beginning of 70 a.d. 

71 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

hiemis prohibebantur, vulgus alimenta in dies mercari 
solitum, cui una ex re publica annonae cura, clausum 
litus, retineri commeatus, dum timet, credebat, 
augentibus famam Vitellianis, qui studium partium 
nondum posuerant, ne ^ victoribus quidem ingrato 
rumore, quorum cupiditates externis quoque bellis 
inexplebilis nulla umquam civilis victoria satiavit. 

XXXIX. Kalendis lanuariis in senatu, quem 
lulius Frontinus praetor urbanus vocaverat, legatis 
exercitibusque ac regibus laudes gratesque decretae ; 
et Tettio ^ luliano praetura, tamquam transgre- 
dientem in partis Vespasiani legionem deseruisset, 
ablata ut in Plotium Grypum t.ransferretur ; Hormo 
dignitas equestris data. Et mox eiurante Frontino 
Caesar Domitianus praeturam cepit. Eius nomen 
epistulis edictisque praeponebatur, vis penes Mu- 
cianum erat, nisi quod pleraque Domitianus insti- 
gantibus amicis aut propria libidine audebat. Sed 
praecipuus Muciano metus e Primo Antonio Varoque 
Arrio, quos recentis clarosque rerum fama ac militum 
studiis etiam populus fovebat, quia in neminem ultra 
aciem saevierant. Et ferebatur Antonius Scribo- 
nianum Crassum, egregiis maioribus et fraterna 
imagine fulgentem, ad capessendam rem publicam 
hortatus, baud defutura consciorum manu, ni Scri- 

^ ne I, Gronovius : nee M. 
2 Tettio Orelli : tito M. 

1 That is, so rapacious had men become that they cared 
less for power than spoils. 

2 Since both consuls were absent. 

3 Cf. ii. 81. 

« Cf. ii. 85; iii. 52. 

« Cf . iii. 12, 28. 

* Brother of Piso, whom Galba had adopted. 

72 



BOOK IV. xxxviii.-xxxix. 

severitv'^ of the winter, the common people at Rome, 
being accustomed to buy their food day by day and 
ha\ing no public interests save the grain supply, 
beheved in their fear that the ports were closed and 
the convoys of grain held back ; the partisans of 
Vitellius who had not yet given up their party zeal 
fostered the report, nor was, in fact, the rumour 
ungrateful even to the victorious party, whose greed, 
for which even foreign wars were insufficient, no 
civil victory could ever satisfy.^ 

XXXIX. On the first of January the senate, at a 
session called by the city praetor,^ Julius Frontinus, 
passed votes eulogizing and thanking the generals, 
armies, and allied princes ; ^ Tettius Juhanus was 
deprived of his praetorship on the ground that he 
had left his legion when it went over to Vespasian's 
side, and the office was given to Plotius Grypus : * 
Hormus received equestrian rank.^ Soon after, 
Frontinus ha\ing resigned, Caesar Domitian received 
the praetorship. His name was prefixed to epistles 
and edicts, but the real power was in the hands of 
Mucianus, except in so far as Domitian dared to 
perform many acts at the instigation of his friends or 
the promptings of his own fancy. But Mucianus 
chiefly feared Primus Antonius and Varus Arrius, 
for they had won distinction by their recent victories 
and were popular with the troops ; even the ci\ilians 
favoured them because they had never drawn the 
sword against any man save on the battle-field. 
There was too a rumour that Antonius had urged 
Scribonianus Crassus,^ distinguished as he was by his 
illustrious ancestry and his brother's eminence, to 
seize the reins of government, ■with the prospect that 
there would be no lack of men to support the plot, 

73 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

bonianus abnuisset, ne paratis quidem corrumpi 
facilis, adeo metuens incerta. Igitur Mucianus, 
quia propalam opprimi Antonius nequibat, multis in 
senatu laudibus cumulatum secretis promissis onerat, 
citeriorem Hispaniam ostentans discessu Cluvii 
Rufi vacuam ; simul amicis eius tribunatus praefectu- 
rasque largitur. Dein postquam inanem animum 
spe et cupidine impleverat, viris abolet dimissa in 
hiberna legione septima, cuius flagrantissimus in 
Antonium amor. Et tertia legio, familiaris Arrio 
Varo miles, in Syriam remissa ; pars exercitus in 
Germanias ducebatur. Sic egesto quidquid turbi- 
dum rediit ^ urbi sua forma legesque et munia 
magistratuum. 

XL. Quo die senatum ingressus est Domitianus, 
de absentia patris fratrisque ac iuventa sua pauca et 
modica disseruit, decorus habitu ; et ignotis adhuc 
moribus crebra oris confusio pro modestia accipie- 
batur. Referente Caesare de restituendis Galbae 
honoribus, censuit Curtius Montanus ut Pisonis 
quoque memoria celebraretur. Patres utrumque 
iussere : de Pisone inritum fuit. Turn sorte ducti 
per quos redderentur bello rapta, quique aera legum 
vetustate delapsa noscerent figerentque, et fastos 

1 rediit Haase : redit M. 



» Cf. ii. 86. 

* Where their headquarters were. 



74 



J 



BOOK IV. xxxxx.-xL. 

had not Scribonianus refused the proposal, for he 
could not be easily corrupted even by a certain pros- 
pect of success, still less when he feared an uncertain 
issue. Therefore Mucianus, being unable to crush 
Antonitis openly, lauded him to the skies in the 
senate and overwhelmed him with promises in secret, 
pointing out that the governorship of Hither Spain 
had been left vacant by the withdrawal of Clu\ius 
Rufus ; at the same time he bestowed tribuneships 
and prefectureships on the friends of Antonius. 
Then, when he had filled his foolish mind with hope 
and desire, Mucianus destroyed his strength by 
sending to its winter quarters the Seventh legion, 
which was most passionately devoted to him.^ 
Furthermore, the Third legion, Arrius Varus 's own 
force, was sent back to Syria ; ^ and part of the army 
was started on its way to the Germanics. Thus the 
city, freed of turbulent elements, recovered its old 
appearance ; the laws regained their force and the 
magistrates their functions. 

XL. On the day when Domitian entered the 
senate, he spoke briefly and in moderate terms of 
his father's and brother's absence and of his own 
youth ; his bearing was becoming ; and since his 
character was as yet unknown, the confusion that 
frequently covered his face was regarded as a mark 
of modesty. When Domitian brought up the question 
of restoring Galba's honours, Curtius Montanus 
moved that Piso's memory also should be honoured. 
The senate passed both motions, but the one with 
regard to Piso was never carried into effect. Then 
a commission was selected by lot to restore property 
stolen during the war, to determine and replace the 
bronze tablets of the laws that had fallen down from 

75 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

adulatione temporum foedatos exonerarent modum- 
que publicis impensis facerent. Redditur Tettio 
luliano praetura, postquam cognitus est ad Vespa- 
sianum confugisse : Grypo honor mansit. Repeti 
inde cognitionem inter Musonium Rufum et Publium 
Gelerem placuit, damnatusque Publius et Sorani 
manibus satis factum. Insignis publica severitate 
dies ne privatim quidem laude caruit. lustum 
iudicium explesse Musonius videbatur, diversa fama 
Demetrio Cynicam sectam professo, quod mani- 
festum reum ambitiosius quam honestius defendisset ; 
ipsi Public neque animus in periculis neque oratio 
suppeditavit. Signo ultionis in accusatores dato, 
petiit ^ a Caesare lunius Mauricus ^ ut comment- 
ariorum principalium potestatem senatui faceret, 
per quos nosceret quern quisque accusandum 
poposcisset. Consulendum tali super re principem 
respondit. 

XLI. Senatus inchoantibus primoribus ius iuran- 
dum concepit quo certatim omnes magistratus, 
ceteri, ut sententiam rogabantur, deos testis advoca- 
bant, nihil ope sua factum quo cuiusquam salus 
laederetur, neque se praemium aut honorem ex 
calamitate civium cepisse, trepidis et verba iuris 
iurandi per varias artis mutantibus, quis flagitii 
conscientia inerat. Probabant religionem patres 

^ petiit Nipperdey : petit M. 

^ Mauricus Beroaldus : maricua M. 

^ Public festivals and sacrifices had been established in 
honour of even the worst emperors; and in 65 a.d. the name 
of the month of April had been changed to Neroneus, May to 
Claudius, and Jime to Germanicus. Vid. Tac. Ann. xv. 74 ; 
xvi. 2. Cf. Suet. Cal. 15; Dam. 13; and Hist. Aug. Vit. Com. 
11,8. 

* Described above in chap. x. 

76 



3 



BOOK IV. XL.-XLI. 

age, to purge the public records of the additions with 
which the flattery of the times had defiled them,^ and 
to check pubhc expenditures. His praetorship was 
given back to Tettius Juhanus after it became known 
that he had fled to Vespasian for protection : Grj'pus 
retained his office. Then the senate decided to take 
up again the case between Musonius Rufus and 
Publius Celer ; ^ Publius was condemned and the 
shades of Soranus were appeased. That day which 
was marked by this act of public severity was not 
without its private glory also. Musonius was held 
to have carried through an act of justice, but public 
opinion took a different \iew of Demetrius the Cynic, 
because he had shown more selfish interest than 
honourable purpose in defending Pubhus, who was 
manifestly guilty : Publius himself in the hour of 
danger had neither the courage nor the eloquence 
to meet it. Now that the signal had been given for 
vengeance on the informers, Junius Mauricus asked 
Caesar to give the senate power to examine the 
imperial records that they might know who the 
informers were that had brought each accusation. 
Domitian replied that on a matter of such importance 
he must consult the emperor. 

XLI. Under the lead of its principal members the 
senate drew up a form of oath, wherein all the 
magistrates and the other senators, in the order in 
which they were called, eagerly invoked the gods 
to witness that they had supported no act by which 
any man's safety could be imperilled, and that 
they had never received reward or office for any 
man's misfortune. Those who were conscious of 
guilt repeated it timidly and changed its words in 
various ways. The senate approved their scruples, 

77 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

periurium arguebant ; eaque velut censura in Sario- 
lenum Voculam et Nonium Attianum et Cestium 
Severum acerrime incubuit, crebris apud Neronem 
delationibus famosos. Sariolenum et recens crimen 
urgebat, quod apud Vitellium molitus eadem foret: 
nee destitit senatus manus intentai'e Voculae, donee 
curia excederet. Ad Paccium Africanum transgressi 
eum quoque proturbant, tamquam Neroni Scribonios 
fratres concordia opibusque insignis ad exitium 
monstravisset. Africanus neque fateri audebat neque 
abnuere poterat : in Vibium Crispum, cuius interroga- 
tionibus fatigabatur, ultro conversus, miscends quae 
defendere nequibat, societate culpae invidiam 
declinavit. 

XLII. Magnam eo die pietatis eloquentiaeque 
famam Vipstanus ^ Messala adeptus est, nondum 
senatoria aetate, ausus pro fratre Aquilio Regulo 
deprecari. Regulum subversa Crassorum et Orfiti 
domus in sumraum odium extulerat : sponte [e 
xyc] 2 accusationem subisse iuvenis admodum, nee 
depellendi periculi sed in spem potentiae videbatur ; 
et Sulpicia^ Praetextata Crassi uxor quattuorque 
liberi, si cognosceret senatus, ultores aderant. Igitur 
Messala non causam neque reum tueri, sed periculis 
fratris semet opponens flexerat quosdam. Occurrit 

^ Vipstanus Ruperti : viptanus M. 

* e xsc sed. Colerus aliique : Caesaris Muller, Halm. 

^ Sulpicia Puteolanus : supplicia M. 

^ Rufus and Prooulus Scribonius, devoted brothers, had 
been governors of Upper and Lower Germany respectively. 
During his tour of Greece in 67 a.d., Nero, Mishing to seize 
their Avealth, sent for them and basely forced them to commit 
suicide. See Dio Cass. Ixiii. 17. 

2 Of. ii. 10. " Cf . iii. 9. 

78 



BOOK IV. xLi.-xLii. 

but disapproved their perjuries ; this kind of ceiisure 
fell heaviest on Sariolenus Vocula, Nonius Attianus, 
and Cestius Severus, who Mere notorious for their 
many delations under Nero. Sariolenus was also 
under the burden of recent charges, for he had tried 
the same course under Vitellius ; nor did the senate 
cease threatening him with personal violence until 
he left the senate house. They then turned on 
Paccius Africanus and drove him out also, because 
he had suggested to Nero the ruin of the brothers 
Scribonii, who were eminent for their fraternal 
concord and their wealth.^ Africanus did not dare 
to confess his crime nor could he deny it : but turning 
upon \'ibius Crispus,^ who was harassing him with 
questions, he imphcated him in acts that he could 
not deny, and so by making Vibius a partner in his 
guilt he diverted the indignation of the senate. 

XLII. On that day Vipstanus Messala ' gained 
great reputation for his fraternal affection and his 
eloquence, for although he was not yet old enough to 
enter the senate,* he dared to appeal for his brother 
Aquihus Regulus.^ Regulus had made himself most 
bitterly hated for causing the downfall of the houses 
of the Crassi and of Orfitus : he seemed voluntarily 
to have taken the accusation on himself though 
quite a youth, not to ward off danger from himself, 
but because he hoped thereby to gain power; and 
Sulpicia Pratextata, the wife of Crassus, and her 
four children were also there to ask vengeance, if 
the senate took up the case. So Messala had offered 
no defence on the case or for the accused, but by 
facing himself the dangers that threatened his 
brother, had succeeded in moving some of the sena- 

* That is, he was not yet twenty-five. * Cf. i. 48. 

79 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

truci oratione Curtius Montanus, eo usque progressus 
ut post caedem Galbae datam interfectori Pisonis 
pecuniam a Regulo adpetitumque morsu Pisonis 
caput obiectaret. " Hoc certe " inquit " Nero non 
coegit, nee dignitatem aut salutem ^ ilia saevitia 
redemisti. Sane toleremus istorum defensiones qui 
perdere alios quam periclitari ipsi maluerunt : te 
securum reliquerat exul pater et divisa inter credi- 
tores bona, nondum honorum capax aetas, nihil quod 
ex te concupisceret Nero, nihil quod timeret. Libi- 
dine sanguinis et hiatu praemiorum ignotum adhuc 
ingenium et nullis defensionibus expertum caede 
nobili imbuisti, cum ex funere rei publicae raptis 
consularibus spoliis, septuagiens sestertio^ saginatus^ 
et sacerdotio fulgens innoxios pueros, inlustris senes, 
conspicuas feminas eadem ruina prosterneres, cum 
segnitiam Neronis incusares, quod per singulas 
domos seque et delatores fatigaret : posse universura 
senatum una voce subverti. Retinete, patres con- 
scripti, et reservate hominem tarn expediti consilii 
ut omnis aetas instructa sit, et quo modo senes nostri I 
Marcellum, Crispum, iuvenes Regulum imitentur. 
Invenit aemulos etiam * infelix nequitia : quid si 
floreat vigeatque ? Et quem adhuc quaestorium 
ofFendere non audemus, praetorium et consularem 
ausuri ^ sumus ? An Neronem extremum dominorum 

^ aut salutem Lipsius : austa lutem M. 

^ septuagenses tertio M. 

' saginatus b, Faernus : signatus M. 

* aemulos etiam Acidalius : etiam emulos M. 

^ ausuri Lipsius : visuri M. 

80 



BOOK IV. xLit. 

tors. But Curtius Montanus opposed him with a 
bitter speech, and went so far as to charge that after 
the murder of Galba, Regains had given money to 
Piso's assassin and had torn Piso's head vriih his 
teeth. " That surely," said he, " is something which 
Nero did not compel you to do, and you did not buy 
immunity for your position or your hfe by that 
savage act. Let us, to be sure, put up with the 
defence of such folk as have preferred to ruin others 
rather than run risks themselves : in your case the 
exile of your father and the division of his property 
among his creditors left you in security ; you were 
not yet old enough to hold office, you had nothing 
that Nero could covet, nothing that he could fear. 
Through lust for slaughter and greed for rewards you 
gave your talents, till then undiscovered and inex- 
perienced in defence, their first taste for noble blood, 
when in the ruin of the state you seized the spoils 
of a consular, battened on seven milHon sesterces, and 
enjoyed the splendour of a priesthood, invohing in 
the same ruin innocent children, eminent old men, 
and noble women ; you reproved Nero for his lack 
of energy in wearying himself and his informers over 
single houses ; you declared that the whole senate 
could be overthrown with a word. Keep and pre- 
serve, gentlemen of the senate, this man of such 
ready counsel, that every age may learn of him and 
that our young men may imitate Regulus, as our old 
men did a Marcellus, a Crispus. Wickedness, even 
if unlucky, finds rivals. WTiat would be the case if 
it should flourish and be strong ? And if we do not 
dare to offend this man while he is only an ex- 
quaestor, shall we dare to oppose him when he has 
been praetor and consul? Do you think that Nero 

8i 

VOL. II. O 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

putatis? Idem crediderant qui Tiberio, qui Gaio 
superstites fuerunt, cum interim intestabilior et 
saevior exortus est. Non timemus Vespasianum ; 
ea principis aetas, ea moderatio : sed diutius durant 
exempla quam mores. Elanguimus, patres con- 
scripti, nee iam ille senatus sumus qui occiso Nerone 
delatores et ministros more maiorum puniendos 
flagitabat. Optimus est post malum principem dies 
primus." 

XLIII. Tanto cum adsensu senatus auditus est 
Montanus ut spem caperet Helvidius posse etiam 
Marcellum prosterni. Igitur a laude Cluvii Rufi 
orsus, qui perinde dives et eloquentia clarus nulli 
umquam sub Nerone periculum facessisset, crimine 
simul exemploque Eprium urgebat, ardentibus pa- 
trum animis. Quod ubi sensit Marcellus, velut 
excedens curia " imus " inquit, " Prisce, et relin- 
quimus tibi senatum tuum : regna praesente Caesare." 
Sequebatur Vibius Crispus, ambo infensi, vultu 
diverso, Marcellus minacibus oculis, Crispus renidens, 
donee adcursu amicorum retraherentur. Cum glisce- 
ret certamen, hinc multi bonique, inde pauci et 
validi pertinacibus odiis tenderent, consumptus per 
discordiam dies. 

XLIV. Proximo senatu, inchoante Caesare de 
abolendo dolore iraque et priorum temporum ne- 

82 



BOOK IV. XLii.-xLiv. 

was the last tjTant ? That same belief was held by 
those who survived Tiberius and Gaius ; yet mean- 
time Nero arose more implacable and more cruel. 
We do not fear Vespasian, such are his years and 
his moderation ; but examples last longer than men's 
characters. We are gro\^'ing weak, fellow-senators, 
and are no longer that senate which after Nero had 
been cut down demanded that his informers and tools 
should be punished according to the custom of our 
forefathers. The fairest day after a bad emperor 
is the first." 

XLIII. The senate listened to Montanus with 
such approval that Helvidius began to hope that even 
Marcellus could be overthro^\Ti. So beginning \\-ith 
a panegyric of Cluvius Rufus, who, though equally 
wealthy and eminent for eloquence, had put no man 
in danger under Nero, by thus combining his own 
charge with that great example, he overwhelmed 
Marcellus and fired the enthusiasm of the senators. 
When Marcellus perceived this, he said as he appa- 
rently started to leave the senate house, " I go, 
Priscus, and leave you your senate : play the king in 
the presence of Caesar." Vibius Crispus started to 
follow him ; they both were angry but did not have 
the same looks, for Marcellus's eyes were flashing 
threateningly, while Crispus affected to smile ; 
but finally they were drawn back by their friends 
who ran up to them. As the quarrel grew, the 
larger number and the more honourable senators 
ranged themselves on one side, while on the other 
were a few strong men, all contending with obstinate 
hate ; so the day was spent in discord. 

XLIV. At the next meeting of the senate, Caesar 
took the lead in recommending that the wrongs, the 

83 
G 2 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

cessitatibus, censuit Mucianus prolixe pro accusa- 
toribus ; simul eos qui coeptam, deinde omissam 
actionem repeterent, monuit sermone molli et 
tamquam rogaret. Patres coeptatam libertatem, 
postquam obviam itum, omisere. Mucianus, ne 
sperni senatus iudicium et cunctis sub Nerone ad- 
missis data impunitas videretur, Octavium Sagittam ^ 
et Antistium Sosianum senatorii ordinis egresses 
exilium in easdem insulas redegit. Octavius Pon- 
tiam Postuminam,^ stupro cognitam et nuptias suas 
abnuentem, impotens amoris interfecerat, Sosianus 
pravitate morum multis exitiosus. Ambo gravi 
senatus consulto damnati pulsique, quamvis concesso 
aliis reditu, in eadem poena retenti sunt. Nee ideo 
lenita erga Mucianum invidia : quippe Sosianus ac 
Sagitta viles, etiam si reverterentur : accusatorum 
ingenia et opes et exercita malis artibus potentia 
timebantur. 

XLV. Reconciliavit paulisper studia patrum habita 
in senatu cognitio secundum veterem morem. 
Manlius Patruitus senator pulsatum se in colonia 
Seniensi coetu multitudinis et iussu magistratuum 
querebatur ; nee finem iniuriae hie stetisse : planc- 
tum et lamenta et supremorum imaginem praesenti 
sibi circumdata cum contumeliis ac probris, quae in 

^ sagittam Ehenanus : sabinum sagittam M. 
^ Postuminam Urlichs : Postumiam vulgo : positu inastu 
procognita M. 



1 The modem Siena. 



84 



BOOK IV. xLiv.-xLv. 

resentments, and the unavoidable necessities of the 
past be forgotten ; Mucianus then spoke at great 
length in behalf of the informers ; yet at the same 
time, addressing those who were now re\'l\-ing indict- 
ments which they once brought and then dropped, 
he admonished them in mild terms and almost in a 
tone of appeal. The senators now that they were 
opposed gave up the liberty that they had begun to 
enjoy. Mucianus, to avoid seeming to treat lightly 
the senate's judgment or to grant impunity to all the 
misdeeds committed under Nero, sent back to their 
islands Octavius Sagitta and Antistius Sosianus, two 
men of the senatorial class, who had broken their 
exile. Octavius had debauched Pontia Postumina, 
and when she refused to marry him, in a frenzy of 
jealousy he had killed her ; Sosianus had ruined many 
by his depra%ity. Both had been condemned and 
driven into exile by a severe vote of the senate; 
while others were allowed to return, they were kept 
under the same punishment. Yet the unpopularity 
of Mucianus was not diminished by this action : for 
Sosianus and Sagitta were insignificant, even if they 
did return ; the informers' abiUties, wrath, and power, 
which they used to evil ends, were what men feared. 
XLV. 'The senators' discordant sentiments were 
reconciled for a time by an investigation which was 
held according to ancient custom. A senator, 
Manlius Patruitus, complained that he had been 
beaten by a mob in the colony of Sena,^ and that too 
by the orders of the local magistrates ; moreover, he 
said that the injiuy had not stopped there : the mob 
had surrounded hixn and before his face had wailed, 
lamented, and conducted a mock funeral, accom- 
panying it with insults and outrageous expressions 

85 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

senatum universum iacerentur. Vocati qui argue- 
bantur, et cognita causa in convictos vindicatum, 
additumque senatus consultum quo Seniensium 
plebes modestiae admoneretur. Isdem diebus An- 
tonius Flamma accusantibus^ Cyrenensibus damnatur 
lege repetundarum et exilio ob saevitiam, 

XLVI. Inter quae militaris seditio prope exarsit. 
Praetorianam militiam repetebant a Vitellio dimissi, 
pro Vespasiano congregati ; et lectus in eandem spem 
e legionibus miles promissa stipendia flagitabat. 
Ne Vitelliani quidem sine multa caede pelli poterant : 
sed immensa pecunia ^ tanta vis hominum retinenda 
erat. Ingressus castra Mucianus, quo rectius sti- 
pendia singulorum spectaret, suis cum rnsignibus 
armisque victores constituit, modicis inter se spatiis 
discretes. Tum Vitelliani, quos apud Bovillas in 
deditionem acceptos memoravimus, ceterique per 
urbem et urbi vicina conquisiti producuntur prope 
intecto corpore. Eos Mucianus diduci et Ger- 
manicum Britannicumque militem, ac si qui alioruni 
exercituum, separatim adsistere iubet. Illos primus 
statim aspectus obstupefecerat, cum ex diverse velut 
aciem telis et armis trucem, semet clauses nudosque 

^ accusantibus hie add. Wurm : C. accusantibus Heraeus. 

* post pecunia ordo verborum in cod. Med. sic turbatus : (pe- 
cunia) fenint ne criminantium (C. lii.) . . . defuisse crede (C. 
liii.); deinde tanta vis hominum (C. xlvi.) . . . multo apud 
patrem sermone orasse (C. lii.) ; deinde dicebatur audita interim 
(C. liv.), verbnm vltimum (C. liii.) in duos partes discerpttim 
erat crede batur: foliis transpositis librarius quidam syUabas 
batur in dicebatur explevit. Verum ordinem retitituit Agricola. 

1 Cf. ii. 67. 

2 The praetorians received two denarii a day, twice the pay 
of the legionaries. 

^ Probablv those who surrendered at Namia and Borillae, 
Cf . iii. 63 ; iv. 2. 

86 



BOOK IV. xLv.-xLvi. 

directed against the whole senate. The accused 
were summoned, and after the case had been heard, 
those convicted were punished, and the senate also 
passed a vote warning the populace of Sena to be 
more orderly. At the same time Antonius Flamma 
was condemned under the law against extortion on 
charges brought by the people of Cyrene, and was 
exiled for his cruelty. 

XLVI. Meanwhile a mutiny almost broke out 
among the troops. Those who had been dismissed 
by Vitellius ^ and had then banded together to 
support Vespasian now asked to be restored to 
service in the praetorian cohorts ; and the legionaries 
selected with the same prospect demanded the pay 
promised them.^ Even the \'itellians ^ could not be 
removed without much bloodshed ; but it would cost 
an enormous sum to keep such a great force of men 
under arms. Mucianus entered the camp to examine 
more closely the length of each man's ser\'ice ; he drew 
up the victors with their proper insignia and arms, 
lea^ing a moderate space between the companies. 
Then the Vitelhans who had surrendered at Bo\illae, 
as we have said above, and all the other soldiers 
attached to the same cause who had been hunted 
out in the city and suburbs, were brought out almost 
without clothes or arms. Mucianus ordered them 
to march to one side, and directed that the soldiers 
from Germany and Britain and all the troops there 
were among them from other armies should take 
positions by themselves. They were paralyzed by 
the first sight of their situation, when they beheld 
opposite them what seemed to them like an enemy's 
line, threatening them "with weapons and defensive 
arms, while they were themselves hemmed in, 

«7 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

et inluvie deformis aspicerent: ut vero hue illuc 
distrahi coepere, metus per omnis et praecipua 
Germanici militis formido, tamquam ea separatione 
ad caedem destinaretur. Prensare commanipula- 
rium pectora, cervicibus innecti, suprema oscula ' 
petere, ne desererentur soli neu pari causa disparem 
fortunam paterentur ; modo Mucianum, modo 
absentem principem, postremum caelum ac deos 
obtestari, donee Mucianus eunetos eiusdem sacra- 
menti, eiusdem imperatoris milites appellans, falso 
timori obviam iret; namque et victor exercitus cla- 
more lacrimas eorum iuvabat. Isque finis ilia die. 
Paucis post diebus adloquentem Domitianum firmati 
iam excepere : spernunt oblatos agros, militiam et 
stipendia orant. Preces erant, sed quibus contra 
dici non posset ; igitur in praetorium accepti. Dein 
quibus aetas et iusta stipendia, dimissi cum honor e, 
alii ob culpam, sed carptim ac singuli, quo tutissimo 
remedio consensus multitudinis extenuatur. 

XL VII. Cetenun verane pauperie an uti videretur, 
actum in senatu ut sescentiens sestertium a privatis 
mutuum acciperetur, praepositusque ei curae 
Pompeius Silvanus. Nee multo post necessitas abiit 

^ A soldier might be discharged at the age of fifty, or after 
sixteen years service in the praetorian guard or twenty with 
the legionaiie^. 

88 



BOOK IV. xLvi.-XLvii. 

unprotected, squalid and filthy; then, when they 
began to be di\ided and marched in different direc- 
tions, all were smitten with horror ; the soldiers from 
Germany were the most terrified, for they thought 
that by this di%-ision they were being marked for 
slaughter. They began to throw themselves on the 
breasts of their fellow-soldiers, to hang on their 
necks, to beg for a farewell kiss, praying them not 
to desert them or allow them to suffer a different fate 
when their cause had been the same ; they kept 
appealing now to Mucianus, now to the absent 
emperor, finally to heaven and the gods, until Mu- 
cianus stopped their needless panic by calling themi 
all " soldiers bound by the same oath " and " soldiers 
of the same emperor." He was the readier to do 
this as the \ictorious troops by their cheers seconded 
the tears of the others. Thus this day ended. But 
a few days later, when Domitian addressed them, 
they received him with recovered confidence : they 
treated vnth scorn the offers of lands but asked for 
service in the army and pay. They resorted to 
appeals, it is true, but to appeals that admitted no 
denial ; accordingly they were received into the 
praetorian camp. Then those whose age and length 
of service warranted it were honourably discharged ; ^ 
others were dismissed for some fault or other, but 
gradually and one at a time — the safe remedy for 
breaking up a united mob. 

XLVII. However, whether the treasury was really 
poor or the senate wished it to appear so, the 
senators voted to accept a loan of sixty million 
sesterces from private indi\iduals and put Pompeius 
Silvanus in charge of the matter. Not long after, 
either the necessity passed or the pretence of such 

89 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

sive omissa simulatio. Abrogati inde legem ferente 
Domitiano consulatus quos \^tellius dederat, funus- 
que censoriura Flavio Sabino ductum, magna docu- 
menta instabilis fortunae summaque et ima miscentis. 

XLVIII. Sub idem tempus L. Piso pro consule 
interficitur. Ea de caede quam verissime expediam, 
si pauca supra repetiero ab initio causisque talium 
facinorum non absurda. Legio in Africa auxiliaque 
tutandis imperii finibus sub divo Augusto Tiberioque 
principibus proconsuli parebant. Mox G. Caesar, 
turbidus animi ac^ Marcum Silanum obtinentem Afri- 
cam metuens, ablatam proconsuli legionem misso in 
earn rem legato tradidit. Aequatus inter duos 
beneficiorum numerus, et mixtis utriusque mandatis 
discordia quaesita auctaque pravo certamine. Lega- 
torum ius adolevit diuturnitate officii, vel quia 
minoribus maior aemulandi cura, proconsulum 
splendidissimus quisque securitati magis quam 
potentiae consulebant. 

XLIX. Sed turn legionem in Africa regebat 
Valerius Festus, sumptuosae adulescentiae neque 
modica cupiens et adfinitate Vitellii anxius. Is 
crebris sermonibus temptaveritne Pisonem ad res 

1 ad 31. 

^ Cf . chap, xxxviii above. 
90 



BOOK IV. xLvii.-XLix. 

necessity was dropped. Then on the motion of 
Domitian the consulships which Vitelhus had con- 
ferred were cancelled ; and the honours of a censor's 
funeral were given FlaWus Sabinus — signal proof of 
the fickleness of fortune, ever confounding honours 
with humiUations. 

XLV'III. At about the same time the proconsul 
Lucius Piso was put to death.^ I shall give the most 
faithful account I can of his murder, after having 
re\iewed a few earlier matters which are not unre- 
lated to the source and causes of such crimes. The 
legion and the auxiliary troops employed in Africa 
to protect the borders of the empire were commanded 
by a proconsul during the reigns of the deified 
Augustus and of Tiberius. Afterwards Gains Caesar, 
who was confused in mind and afraid of Marcus 
Silanus, then governor of Africa, took the legion 
away from the proconsul and gave it to a legate 
sent out for that purpose. Patronage was now 
equally divided between the two officials ; and a 
source of discord was sought in the conflict of 
authority between the two, while this discord was 
increased by their unseemly strife. The power of 
the legates increased, owing to their long terms of 
office or else because in lesser posts men are more 
eager to play the rival, while the most distinguished 
of the proconsuls cared more for security than 
power. 

XI>IX. At that time the legion in Africa was com- 
manded by Valerius Festus, a young man of extrava- 
gant habits, whose ambitions were by no means 
moderate, and who was made uneasy by his relation- 
ship to Vitellius. Whether he, in their many inter- 
views, tempted Piso to revolt or whether he resisted 

91 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

novas an temptanti restiterit, incertum, quoniam 
secreto eorum nemo adfuit, et occiso Pisone plerique 
ad gratiam interfectoris inclinavere. Nee ambigitur 
provinciam et militem alienato erga Vespasianum 
animo fuisse ; et quidam e Vitellianis urbe profugi 
ostentabant Pisoni nutantis Gallias, paratam Ger- 
maniam, pericula ipsius et in pace suspecto ^ tutius 
bellum. Inter quae Claudius Sagitta, praefectus 
alae Petrianae,^ prospera navigatione praevenit 
Papirium centurionem a Muciano missum, adsevera- 
vitque mandata interficiendi Pisonis centurioni data : 
cecidisse^ Galerianum consobrinum eius generumque ; 
unam in audacia spem salutis, sed duo itinera auden- 
di,* seu mallet statim arma, seu petita navibus Gallia 
dueem se Vitellianis exercitibus ostenderet. Nihil 
ad ea moto Pisone, centurio a Muciano missus, ut 
portum Carthaginis attigit, magna voce laeta Pisoni 
omnia tamquam principi continuare, obvios et subitae 
rei miraculo attonitos ut eadem adstreperent hortari. 
Vulgus credulum ruere in forum, praesentiam Pisonis 
exposcere ; gaudio clamoribusque cuncta miscebant, 
indiligentia veri ^ et adulandi libidine. Piso indicio 
Sagittae vel insita modestia non in publicum egressus 
est neque se studiis vulgi permisit : centurionemque 

1 suspecto Victorius : suscepto M. 

2 Petrianae Booking : petrinae M. ' cedisse M. 
* audiendi M. * veri Bhenaniis : viri M. 

1 Named from a certain Petra who had oi^anised the troop. 
Cf. I, 70. 

92 



BOOK IV. xLix. 

Piso's proposals, we do not know, for no one was 
present at their private conversations, and after 
Piso's assassination the majority tried to win favour 
with the murderer. There is no question that the 
province and the troops were unfavourably disposed 
toward Vespasian ; moreover, some of the Vitellians 
who fled from Rome pointed out to Piso that the 
GalUc pro\inces were hesitating and that Germany 
was ready to revolt, that he was himself in danger, 
and that war is the safer course for a man who is 
suspected in time of peace. Meantime Claudius 
Sagitta, prefect of Petra's horse,^ by a fortunate 
voyage, arrived before the centurion Papirius who 
had been dispatched by Mucianus ; Sagitta declared 
that the centurion had been ordered to kill Piso, and 
that Galerianus, his cousin and son-in-law, had been 
put to death. He urged that the only hope of safetv 
was in some bold step, but that there were two ways 
open for such action : Piso might prefer war at once 
or he might sail to Gaul and offer himself as a leader 
to the Vitellian troops. Although Piso was not at all 
inchned to such courses, the moment that the cen- 
turion whom Mucianus sent arrived in the harbour 
of Carthage, he raised his voice and kept repeating 
prayers and vows for Piso as if he were emperor, and 
he urged those who met him and were amazed at 
this strange proceeding to utter the same acclama- 
tions. The credulous crowd, rushing into the forum, 
demanded Piso's presence, and raised an uproar with 
their joyful shouts, caring nothing for the truth and 
only eager to flatter. Piso, moved by Sagitta's 
information or prompted by his native modesty, did 
not appear in public or trust himself to the enthu- 
siastic mob : and when, on questioning the cen- 

93 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

percontatus, postquam quaesitum sibi crimen caedem- 
que comperitj animadverti in eum iussit, haud perinde 
spe vitae quam ira in percussorem, quod idem ex 
interfectoribus Clodii Macri cruentas legati sanguine 
manus ad caedem proeonsulis rettulisset. Anxio 
deinde edicto Carthaginiensibus increpitis, ne solita 
quidem munia usurpabat, clausus intra domum, ne 
qua motus novi causa vel forte oreretur. 

L. Sed ubi Festo consternatio vulgi, centurionis 3 
supplicium veraque et falsa more famae in mains 
innotuere, equites in necem Pisonis mittit. Illi 
raptira vecti obscuro adhuc coeptae lucis domum 
proeonsulis inrumpunt destrictis gladiis, et magna 
pars Pisonis ignari, quod Poenos auxiliaris Mau- 
rosque in eam caedem delegerat. Haud procul 
cubiculo obvium forte servum quisnam et ubi esset 
Piso interrogavere. Servus egregio mendacio se 
Pisonem esse respondit ac statim obtruncatur. Nee 
multo post Piso interficitur; namque aderat qui 
nosceret, Baebius Massa e procuratoribus Africae, 
iam tunc optimo cuique exitiosus et inter ^ causas 
malorum quae mox tulimus saepius rediturus. 
Festus Adrumeto, ubi speculabundus substiterat, ad 
legionem contendit praefectumque castrorum Cae- 

1 inter Wex : in M. 

1 Cf . i. 7. 

* Massa became a notorious informer under Domitian, but 
the books of Tacitus's Histories dealing with that period are 
unfortunately lost. 

^ To-day Susa; south of ancient Carthage. 

94 



BOOK IV. XLLX.-L. 

turion, he learned that this officer had sought an 
opportunity to bring a charge against him and to 
kill him, he ordered him to be put to death, moved 
not so much by hope of saving his own life as by 
anger against the assassin, for this centurion had 
been one of the murderers of Clodius Macer ^ and 
then had come with his hands dripping with the 
blood of the legate to kill a proconsul. Next he 
reproved the Carthaginians in a proclamation that 
betrayed his anxiety, and abandoned even his 
usual duties, remaining shut up in his residence that 
no excuse for a new outbreak might arise even by 
chance. 

L. When report of the popular excitement reached 
Festus, as well as the news of the centurion's execu- 
tion and of other matters, both true and false, with 
the usual exaggerations, he sent horsemen to kill 
Piso. They rode so rapidly that they broke into the 
proconsul's residence in the half-hght of the early 
dawn with drawn swords. The majority of them 
were unacquainted with Piso, for Festus had selected 
Carthaginian auxiliaries and Moors to accomplish 
this murder. Not far from Piso's bedroom a slave 
happened to meet them. The soldiers asked him 
who and where Piso was. The slave answered with 
an heroic falsehood that he was Piso, and was at 
once cut dowTi. Yet soon after Piso was murdered; 
for there was present a man who recognized him, 
Baebius Massa, one of the imperial agents in Africa — 
a man, even at that time, ruinous to the best citizens, 
and his name -svill reappear only too often among the 
causes of the e\'ils that we later endured. ^ From 
Adrumetum,' where he had waited to watch the 
course of events, Festus hurried to the legion and 

95 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

tronium Pisanum vinciri iussit proprias ob simultates, 
sed Pisonis satellitem vocabat, militesque et cen- 
turiones quosdam puniit, alios praemiis adfecit, 
neutrum ex merito, sed ut oppressisse bellum cre- 
deretur. Mox Oeensium ^ Leptitanorumque dis- 
cordias componit, quae raptu frugum et pecorum 
inter agrestis raodicis principiis, iam per arma atque 
acies exercebantur ; nam populus Oeensis ^ multi- 
tudine inferior Garamantas exciverat, gentem indo- 
mitam et inter accolas latrociniis fecundam. Unde 
artae Leptitanis res, lateque vastatis agris intra 
moenia trepidabant, donee interventu cohortium 
alarumque fusi Garamantes et recepta omnis praeda, 
nisi quam vagi per inaccessa mapalium ulterioribus 
vendiderant. 

LI. At Vespasiano post Cremonensem pugnam et 
prosperos undique nuntios cecidisse Vitellium multi 
cuiusque ordinis, pari audacia fortunaque hibemum 
mare adgressi, nuntiavere. Aderant legati regis 
Vologaesi ^ quadraginta milia ^ Parthorum equitum 
ofFerentes. Magnificum laetumque tantis sociorum 
auxiliis ambiri neque indigere : gratiae Vologaeso ^ 
actae mandatumque ut legatos ad senatum mitteret 
et pacem esse sciret. Vespasianus in Italiam resque 

^ Oeensium, Oeensis infra, Lipsius : offensium, offensis 31. 
* Vologaesi, Vologaeso infra, Nijyperdei/ : vologesi, vologeso 
M. 

' milia hie add. b, post equitum alii : om. M. 

^ Tripoli and Lebda. 

* Living in the modem Fezzan. 

» Still at Alexandria. Cf. ii. 82; iii. 48; iv. 38. 

* Cf . ii. 82. 
96 



BOOK IV. L.-Li. 

ordered the arrest of the prefect of the camp, 
Caetronius Pisanus, to satisfy personal hatred, 
but he called him Piso's tool; and he also punished 
some soldiers and centurions, others he rewarded; 
neither course of action was prompted by merit but 
by his desire to appear to have crushed a war. 
Later he settled the differences between the people 
of Oea and Leptis,^ which, though small at first, 
beginning among these peasants with the stealing 
of crops and cattle, had now increased to the point 
of armed contests and regular battles ; for the people 
of Oea, being fewer than their opponents, had called 
in the Garamantes,^ an ungovernable tribe and one 
always engaged in practising brigandage on their 
neighbours. This had reduced the fortunes of the 
Leptitani to a low ebb ; their lands had been ravaged 
far and wide and they lay in terror within their walls, 
until, by the arrival of the auxiliary foot and horse, 
the Garamantes were routed and the entire booty 
was recovered except that which the robbers as they 
wandered through inaccessible native \illages had 
sold to remote tribes. 

LI. But Vespasian,' after learning of the battle of 
Cremona and recei\ing favourable news from every 
quarter, now heard of the fall of VitelUus from many 
of every class who with equal courage and good 
fortune braved the wintry sea. Envoys also came 
from King Vologaesus ^\•ith an offer of forty thousand 
Parthian horse.* It was glorious and delightful to 
be courted with such offers of assistance from the 
allies and not to need them : he thanked ^'ologaesus 
and instructed him to send his envoys to the senate 
and to be assured that the empire was at peace. 
While \'espasian was absorbed with thoughts of 

97 

VOL. II. H 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

urbis intentus adversam de Domitiano famam accipit, 
tamquam terminos aetatis et concessa filio egre- 
deretur : igitur validissimam exercitus partem Tito 
tradit ad reliqua ludaici belli perpetranda. 

LII. Titum, antequam digrederetur, multo apud 
patrem sermone orasse ferunt ^ ne criminantium 
nuntiis temere accenderetur integrumque se ac 
placabilem filio praestaret. Non legiones, non classis 
proinde firma imperii munimenta quam numerum 
liberorum ; nam amicos tempore, fortuna, cupidinibus 
aliquando aut erroribus imminui, transferri, desinere : 
suum cuique sanguinem indiscretum, sed maxime 
principibus, quorum prosperis et alii fruantur, adversa 
ad iunctissimos pertineant. Ne fratribus quidem 
mansuram concordiam, ni parens exemplum prae- 
buisset. Vespasianus haud aeque Domitiano miti- 
gatus quam Titi pietate gaudens, bono esse animo 
iubet belloque et armis rem publicam attollere : 
sibi pacem domumque curae fore. Tum celerrimas 
navium frumento onustas saevo adhuc mari com- 
mittit : quippe tanto discrimine urbs nutabat ut 
decern haud amplius dierum frumentum in horreis 
fuerit, cum a Vespasiano commeatus subvenere. 

LIII. Cur am restituendi Capitolii in Lucium Ves- 
tinum confert, equestris ordinis virum, sed auctoritate 

^ Vid. ad cap. xlvi. 

Cf. iii. 48. 
98 



BOOK IV. Li.-Liii. 

Italy and conditions in Rome, he heard an unfavour- 
able report concerning Domitian, to the effect that 
he was transgressing the bounds set by his youth 
and what might be permissible in a son : accordingly 
he turned over to Titus the main force of his army to 
complete the war with the Jews. 

LII. It is said that Titus, before leaving, in a long 
interview with his father begged him not to be easily 
excited by the reports of those who calumniated 
Domitian, and urged him to show himself impartial 
and forgiving toward his son. " Neither armies nor 
fleets," he argued, " are so strong a defence of the 
imperial power as a number of children ; for friends 
are chilled, changed, and lost by time, fortune, and 
sometimes by inordinate desires or by mistakes : 
the ties of blood cannot be severed by any man, 
least of all by princes, whose success others also 
enjoy, but whose misfortunes touch only their 
nearest kin. Not even brothers will always agree 
unless the father sets the example." Not so much 
reconciled toward Domitian as delighted ^vith Titus's 
show of brotherly affection, Vespasian bade him be 
of good cheer and to magnify the state by war and 
arms ; he would himself care for peace and his 
house. Then he had some of the swiftest ships 
laden with grain and entrusted to the sea, although 
it was still dangerous : for, in fact, Rome was in 
such a critical condition that she did not have more 
than ten days' suppHes in her granaries when the 
supplies from Vespasian came to her rehef.^ 

LI II. The charge of restoring the Capitol was 
given by Vespasian to Lucius Vestinus, a member 
of the equestrian order, but one whose influence and 
reputation put him on an equality with the nobihty. 

99 
h2 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

famaque inter proceres. Ab eo contract! haruspices 
monuere ut reliquiae prioris delubri in paludes 
aveherentur, templum isdem vestigiis sisteretur : 
nolle deos mutari veterem formam. XI kalendas 
lulias serena luce spatium omne quod templo dicaba- 
tur evinctum vittis coronisque ^ ; ingressi milites, quis 
fausta nomina, felicibus ramis ; dein virgines Vestales 
cum pueris puellisque patrimis matrimisque aqua ^ e 
fontibus amnibusque^ hausta perluere.* Turn Hel- 
vidius Priscus praetor, praeeunte Plautio^ Aeliano 
pontifice, lustrata^ suovetaurilibus ' area et super 
caespitem redditis extis, lovem, lunonem, Minervam 
praesidesque imperii deos precatus uti coepta 
prosperarent sedisque suas pietate hominum in- 
choatas divina ope attollerent, vittas, quis ligatus 
lapis innexique funes erant, contigit; simul ceteri 
magistratus et sacerdotes et senatus et eques et 
magna pars populi, studio laetitiaque conixi, saxum 
ingens traxere. Passimque iniectae fundamentis 
argenti aurique stipes et metallorum primitiae, nullis 
fornacibus victae, sed ut gignuntur ^ : praedixere 
haruspices ne temeraretur opus saxo aurove in aliud 
destinato. Altitudo aedibus adiecta: id solum 

^ victis comisque M : coronisque M*. 

''■ aqua Baiter : aquatrimis M. * omnibusque M. 

* perluere i^Aenanw^: pluere J/. 

* Plautio Ursimis : plauto M. * lustratas M. 
' suovetaurilibus Lipsius: bove taurilibus M. 

* gignuntur dett. : signuntur M. 

^ The sacrifice of a boar, a ram, and a bull. 



BOOK IV. Liii. 

The hamspices when assembled by him directed 
that the ruins of the old shrine shovdd be carried 
away to the marshes and that a new temple should 
be erected on exactly the same site as the old : the 
gods were un^\ilhng to have the old plan changed. 
On the twenty-first of Jime, under a cloudless sky, 
the area that was dedicated to the temple was sur- 
rounded with fillets and garlands ; soldiers, who had 
auspicious names, entered the enclosure carrying 
boughs of good omen ; then the Vestals, accompanied 
by boys and girls whose fathers and mothers were 
living, sprinkled the area -with water drawn from 
fountains and streams. Next Helvldius Priscus, the 
praetor, guided by the pontifex Plautius Aehanus, 
piuified the area with the sacrifice of the suove- 
taurilia,^ and placed the %"itals of the \ictinis on an 
altar of turf; and then, after he had prayed to 
Jupiter, Juno, Minerva, and to the gods who protect 
the empire to prosper this undertaking and by their 
di\'ine assistance to raise again their home which 
man's piety had begun, he touched the fillets \nth 
which the foundation stone was wound and the ropes 
entwined ; at the same time the rest of the magis- 
trates, the priests, senators, knights, and a great 
part of the people, putting forth their strength 
together in one enthusiastic and joyful effort, dragged 
the huge stone to its place. A shower of gold and 
silver and of virgin ores, never smelted in any furnace, 
but in their natural state, was thrown everywhere 
into the foundations : the haruspices had warned 
against the profanation of the work by the use of 
stone or gold intended for any other purpose. The 
temple was given greater height than the old : this 
was the only change that religious scruples allowed, 

lOI 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

religio adnuere et prioris templi magnificentiae 
defuisse credebatur.i 

LIV. Audita interim per Gallias Germaniasque 
mors Vitellii duplicaverat bellum. Nam Civilis 
omissa dissimulatione in populum Romanum ruere, 
Vitellianae legiones vel externum servitium quam 
imperatorem Vespasianum malle. Galli sustulerant 
animos, eandem ubique exercituum nostrorum for- 
tunam rati, vulgato rumore a Sarmatis Dacisque 
Moesica ac Pannonica hiberna circumsederi ; paria 
de Britannia fingebantur. Sed nihil aeque quam 
incendium Capitolii, ut finem imperio adesse cre- 
derent, impulerat. Captam olim a Gallis urbem, 
sed integra lovis sede mansisse imperium : fatali 
nunc igne signum caelestis irae datum et possessionem 
rerum humariarum Transalpinis gentibus portendi 
superstitione vana Druidae canebant. Incesseratque 
fama primores Galliarum ab Othone adversus 
Vitellium missos, antequam digrederentur, pepigisse 
ne deessent libertati, si populum Romanum con- 
tinua civilium bellorum series et interna mala 
fregissent. 

LV. Ante Flacci Hordeonii caedem nihil prorupit 
quo coniuratio intellegeretur : interfecto Hordeonio 
commeavere nuntii inter Civilem Classicumque 

1 credebatur Doderlein : crede M. Vid. ad cap. xlvi. 

^ Tacitus resumes from chap, xxxvii, at January 70 a.d. 
IC2 



BOOK IV. Lin.-Lv. 

and the only feature that was thought wanting in 
the magnificence of the old structure. 

LI\'. In the meantime ^ the news of the death of 
\'itelUus, spreading through the GalHc and German 
provinces, had started a second war ; for Civilis, now 
dropping all pretence, openly attacked the Roman 
people, and the legions of Vitellius preferred to be 
subject even to foreign domination rather than to 
obey Vespasian as emperor. The Gauls had plucked 
up fresh courage, belie\ing that all our armies were 
everywhere in the same case, for the rumour had 
spread that our winter quarters in Moesia and Pan- 
nonia were being besieged by the Sarmatae and 
Dacians ; similar stories were invented about 
Britain. But nothing had encouraged them to 
believe that the end of our rule was at hand so much 
as the burning of the Capitol. " Once long ago 
Rome was captured by the Gauls, but since Jove's 
home was unharmed, the Roman power stood firm : 
now this fatal conflagration has given a proof from 
heaven of the di\dne wTath and presages the passage 
of the sovereignty of the world to the peoples beyond 
the Alps." Such were the vain and superstitious 
prophecies of the Druids. Moreover, the report had 
gone abroad that the Gallic chiefs, when sent by 
Otho to oppose VitelUus, had pledged themselves 
before their departure not to fail the cause of free- 
dom in case an unbroken series of civil wars and 
internal troubles destroyed the power of the Roman 
people. 

LV. Before the murder of Hordeonius Flaccus 
nothing came to the surface to make the conspiracy 
known : but after Hordeonius had been killed, 
messengers passed between Civilis and Classicus, 

103 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

praefectum alae Trevirorum. Classicus nobilitate 

opibusque ante alios : regium illi genus et pace 

belloque clara origo, ipse e maioribus suis hostis 

populi Romani quam socios ^ iactabat. Miscuere sese 

Julius Tutor et lulius Sabinus, hie Trevir, hie Lin- 

gonus, Tutor ripae Rheni a Vitellio praefectus; 

Sabinum super insitam vanitatem falsae stirpis gloria 

incendebat : proaviam suam divo lulio per Gallias 

bellanti corpore atque adulterio placuisse. Hi 

secretis sermonibus animos ceterorum scrutati,^ ubi 

quos idoneos rebantur conscientia obstrinxere, in 

colonia Agrippinensi in domum privatam con- 

veniunt ; nam publice civitas talibus inceptis abhorre- 

bat ; ac tamen interfuere quidam Ubiorum Tun- 

grorumque. Sed plurima vis penes Treviros ac 

Lingonas, nee tulere moras consultandi. Certatim 

proclamant furere discordiis populum Romanum, 

caesas legiones, vastatam Italiam, capi cum maxime 

urbem, omnis exercitus suis quemque bellis distineri : 

si Alpes praesidiis firmentur, coalita hbertate dis- 

ceptaturas ^ Gallias quem virium suarum terminum 

velint. 

LVI. Haec dicta pariter probataque : de reliquiis 

Vitelliani exercitus dubitavere. Plerique inter- 

^ Bocios Mercerus : socius M. 

^ scrutati Pichena : scrutari M. 

' disceptaturas Victoruts: discepras 31. 

^ The prefect of the bank of the Rhine was apparently in 
command of the troops that policed the border. Cf. chap, 
xxvi above : dispositae per ripam stationes, and chap. Ixiv below. 

* This statement refers to the capture of Rome by the 
Flavian forces in December, 69 Vid. Ill, 82-85. 

104 



BOOK IV. Lv.-Lvi. 

prefect of the Treviran cavalry. Classiciis was 
superior to the others in birth and wealth ; he was of 
royal family and his hne had been famous in both 
peace and war, and he himself boasted that more of 
his ancestors had been enemies than alUes of the 
Romans. Juhus Tutor and Juhus Sabinus joined the 
conspirators : Tutor was of the tribe of the Treviri, 
Sabinus one of the Lingones. Tutor had been made 
prefect of the bank of the Rhine by ^^itelhus^ ; Sabinus 
was fired by his native vanit}', and especially by his 
pride in his imaginary descent, for it was said that 
his great-grandmother by her charms and com- 
plaisance had found favour in the eyes of the deified 
Juhus when he was carrying on his campaigns in 
Gaul. These chiefs by private interviews first tested 
the sentiments of all their associates ; then, when 
they had secured the participation of those whom 
they thought suitable, they met at Cologne in a 
private house, for the state in its pubhc capacity 
shrank from such an undertaking; and yet some of 
the Ubii and Tungri were present. But the Treviri 
and the Lingones, who had the dominant power in the 
matter, permitted no delay in dehberation. Thev 
rivalled one another in declaring that the Roman 
people were wild with discord, that the legions were 
cut to pieces, Italy laid waste, Rome at that moment 
was being captured,^ and that all the Roman armies 
were occupied each with its own wars : if they but 
held the Alps with armed forces, the Galhc lands, 
once sure of their freedom, would have only to decide 
what hmits they wished to set to their power. 

LVI. These statements were approved as soon 
as made : with regard to the survivors of the army 
of Vitelhus they were in doubt. The majority were 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

ficiendos censebant, turbidos, infidos, sanguine 
ducum pollutes : vicit ratio parcendi, ne sublata 
spe veniae pertinaciam accenderent : adliciendos 
potius in societatem. Legatis tantum legionum 
interfectis, ceterum vulgus conscientia scelerum et 
spe impunitatis facile accessurum. Ea primi con- 
cilii forma missique per Gallias concitores belli ; 
simulatum ipsis obsequium quo incautiorem Voeulam 
opprimerent. Nee defuere qui Voculae nuntiarent, 
sed vires ad coercendum deerant, infrequentibus 
infidisque legionibus. Inter ambiguos milites et 
occultos hostis optimum e praesentibus ratus mutua 
dissimulatione et isdem quibus petebatur grassari, in 
coloniam Agrippinensem deseendit. Illuc Claudius ^ 
Labeo, quem captum et [extra commentum] ^ aman- 
datum^ in Frisios diximus, corruptis custodibus per- 
fugit; pollicitusque, si praesidium daretur, iturum 
in Batavos et potiorem civitatis partem ad societatem 
Romanam retracturum, accepta peditum equitumque 
modica manu nihil apud Batavos ausus quosdam Ner- 
viorum Baetasiorumque in arma traxit, et furtim 
magis quam bello Canninefatis Marsacosque in- 
cursabat. 

^ Claudius Puteolanus : Gladius M. 

* extra commentum sed. Nipperde^. ^ 

^ amendatum M. J 



* Chap, xviii. 

* Living between the Meuse and the Scheldt. 
^ About the mouth of the Scheldt. 

1 06 



BOOK IV. Lvi. 

for putting them to death on the ground that they 
were mutinous, untrustworthy, and defiled ^vith the 
blood of their commanders : the proposal to spare 
them, however, prevailed since the conspirators 
feared to provoke an obstinate resistance if they 
deprived the troops of all hope of mercy : it was 
argued that these soldiers should rather be won over 
to alhance. " If we execute only the commanders 
of the legions," they said, " the general mass of the 
soldiers will be easily led to join us by their con- 
sciousness of guilt and by their hope of escaping 
punishment." This was in brief the result of their 
first dehberation ; and they sent emissaries through 
the GalUc provinces to stir up war ; the ringleaders 
feigned submission in order to take Vocula the more 
off his guard. Yet there was no lack of people to 
carry the story to Vocula ; he, however, did not have 
force enough to check the conspiracy, for the legions 
were incomplete and not to be trusted. Between 
his soldiers whom he suspected and his secret foes, 
he thought it best for the time to dissemble in his 
turn and to employ the same methods of attack that 
were being used against him, and accordingly went 
down to Cologne. There Claudius Labeo, of whose 
capture and banishment among the Frisians I have 
spoken above ,^ fled for refuge, ha\-ing bribed his 
guards to let him escape ; and now he promised, if 
he were given a force of men, that he would go among 
the Batavians and bring the majority of that people 
back to alliance with Rome. He got a small force 
of foot and horse, but he did not dare to undertake 
anything among the Bata\ians ; however, he did 
induce some of the Nervii and Baetasii ^ to take up 
arms, and he continuously harried the Canninefates 
and Marsaci ^ rather by stealth than in open war. 

107 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

LVII. Vocula Gallorum fraude inlectus ad hostem 
contendit; nee proeul Veteribus aberat, eum Clas- 
sicus ac Tutor per speciem explorandi praegressi 
cum ducibus Germanorum pacta firmavere. Tumque 
primum discreti a legionibus proprio vallo castra sua i 
circumdant, obtestante Vocula non adeo turbatamf 
civilibus armis rem Romanam ut Treviris etiam Lin- 
gonibusque despectui sit. Superesse fidas provincias, 
victor es exercitus, fortunam imperii et ultores deos. 
Sic olim Sacrovirum et Aeduos, nuper Vindicem 
Galliasque singulis proeliis concidisse. Eadem 
rursus numina,^ eadem fata ruptores foederum ex- 
pectarent. Melius divo luHo divoque Augusto 
notos eorum animos : Galbam et infracta tributa 
hostilis spiritus induisse. Nunc hostis, quia molle 
servitium ; cum spoliati exutique fuerint, amicos 
fore. Haec ferociter locutus, postquam perstare in 
perfidia Classicum Tutoremque videt, verso itinere 
Novaesium concedit: Galli duum milium spatio 
distantibus campis consedere. Illuc commeantium 
centurionum militumque emebantur animi, ut 
(flagitium incognitum) Romanus exercitus in externa 
verba iurarent pignusque tanti sceleris nece aut 
vinculis legatorum daretur. Vocula, quamquani 

^ numina Rhenanus : nomina M. 
Io8 



BOOK Lvii. 

LVII. Vocula, lured on by the artifices of the 
Gauls, hurried as^ainst the enemv : and he was not 
far from Vetera when Classicus and Tutor, advancing 
from the main force under the pretext of recon- 
noitring, concluded their agreement with the German 
chiefs, and it was then that they first withdrew apart 
from the legions and fortified their own camp with a 
separate rampart, although Vocula protested that 
the Roman state had not yet been so broken by civil 
war as to be an object of contempt in the eyes of 
even the Trewi and Lingones. " There are still left 
faithful provinces," he said ; " there still remain 
victorious armies, the fortune of the empire, and the 
avenging gods. Thus in former times Sacrovir and 
the Aeduans, more recently \'index and all the 
Gallic provinces, have been crushed in a single battle. 
Those who break treaties must still face the same 
dignities, the same fates as before. The deified 
Julius and the deified Augustus better understood 
the spirit of the Gauls : Galba's acts and the reduc- 
tion of the tribute have inspired them with a hostile 
spirit. Now they are enemies because the biu-den 
of their ser\-itude is hght ; when we have despoiled 
and stripped them they will be friends." After 
speaking thus in anger, seeing that Classicus and 
Tutor persisted in their treachery, Vocula turned 
and withdrew to Novaesium: the Gauls occupied a 
position two miles away. There the centurions and 
soldiers frequently visited them, and attempts were 
made so to tamper with their loyalty, that, by an 
unheard-of crime, a Roman army should swear alle- 
^ance to foreigners and pledge themselves to this 
awful sin by killing or arresting their chief officers. 
Although many advised Vocula to escape, he thought 

109 



THE HISTORIES OF TAGITUS 

plerique fugam suadebant, audendum ratus vocata 
contione in hunc modum disseruit : 

LVIII. " Numquam apud vos verba feci aut pro 
vobis sollicitior aut pro me securior. Nam mihi 
exitium parari libens audio mortemque in tot malis 
[hostium] 1 ut finem miseriarum expecto : vesti-i me 
pudet miseretque, adversus quos non proelium et 
acies parantur ; id enim fas armorum et ius hostium 
est : bellum cum populo Romano vestris se manibus 
gesturum Classicus sperat imperiumque et sacra- 
mentum Galliarum ostentat. Adeo nos, si fortuna 
in praesens virtusque deseruit, etiam Vetera exempla 
deficiunt, quotiens Romanae legiones perire prae- 
optaverint ne loco pellerentur ? Socii saepe nostri 
excindi urbis suas seque cum coniugibus ac liberis 
cremari pertulerunt, neque aliud pretium exitus 
quam fides famaque. Tolerant cum maxime ino- 
piam obsidiumque apud Vetera legiones nee terrore 
aut promissis demoventur : nobis super arma et viros 
et egregia castrorum munimenta frumentum et com- 
meatus quamvis longo bello pares. Pecunia nuper 
etiam donativo sufFecit,^ quod sive a Vespasiano sive 
a Vitellio datum interpretari mavultis, ab imperatore 
certe Romano accepistis. Tot bellorum victores, 
apud Geldubam, apud Vetera, fuso totiens hoste, si 

1 hostium seel. Acidalius. ^ sufifecit Lipsius : sufficit M. 
IIO 



BOOK IV. Lvii.-Lviii. 

it \^'ise to act boldly, called an assembly, and spoke 
to this effect. 

LVIII. " Never have I spoken to you with greater 
anxiety on your account or with tess on my own. 
For I am glad to hear that my death is determined 
on, and in the midst of my present misfortunes I 
await my fate as the end of my sufferings. It is for 
you that I feel shame and pity, — for you against 
whom no battle is arrayed, no Hnes are marshalled. 
That would be only the law of arms and the just 
right of enemies. No ! It is ^vith your hands that 
Classicus hopes to fight against the Roman people : 
it is a Gallic empire and an allegiance to the Gauls 
that he holds out to you. Even if fortune and courage 
fail us at the moment, have we completely lost the 
memories of the past, forgotten how many times 
Roman legions have preferred to die rather than be 
driven from their positions ? How often have our 
atlies endured the destruction of their cities and 
allowed themselves to be burned vrith their wives 
and children, when the only reward that they could 
gain in their death was the glory of having kept 
their faith } At this very moment the legions at 
Vetera are bearing the hardships of famine and siege 
unmoved by threats or promises : we have not only 
our arms, our men, and the splendid fortifications of 
our camp, but we have grain and supplies sufficient 
for a war regardless of its length. We had money 
enough lately even for a donative ; and whether you 
prefer to regard this as given by Vespasian or by 
\ itellius, it was certainly a Roman emperor from 
whom you received it. If you, the victors in so many 
wars, if you who have so often put the enemy to flight 
at Gelduba and Vetera, fear an open battle, that is 

III 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

pavetis aciem, indignum id quidem, sed est vallum 
murique et trahendi artes, donee e proximis pro- 
vinciis auxilia ^ercitusque concurrant. Sane ego 
displiceam : sunt alii legati, tribuni, centurio denique 
aut miles ; ne hoc prodigium toto terrarum orbe 
vulgetur, vobis satellitibus Civilem et Classicum 
Italiam invasuros. An, si ad moenia urbis Germani 
Gallique duxerint, arma patriae inferetis ? Horret 
animus tanti flagitii imagine. Tutorine ^ Treviro 
agentur excubiae ? Signum belli Batavus dabit ? 
Et Germanorum catervas supplebitis ? Quis deinde 
sceleris exitus, cum Romanae legiones se contra ^ 
derexerint ? Transfugae e transfugis et proditores 
e proditoribus inter recens et vetus sacramentum 
invisi deis errabitis? Te, luppiter optime maxime, 
quern per octingentos viginti annos tot triumphis 
coluimus, te, Quirine Romanae parens urbis, precor 
venerorque ut, si vobis non fuit cordi me duce haec 
castra incorrupta et intemerata servari, at certe 
poUui foedarique a Tutore et Classico ne sinatis, 
militibus Romanis aut innocentiam detis aut ma- 
turam et sine noxa paenitentiam." 

LIX. Varie excepta oratio inter spem metumque 
ac pudorem. Digressum Voculam et de supremis 
agitantem liberti servique prohibuere foedissimam 

^ Tutorine /. Gronovius : tutor in M. 
2 se contra Madvig. 



BOOK IV. Lviir.-Lix. 

indeed a disgrace ; but still you have fortifications, 
ramparts, and ways of delaying the crisis until troops 
hurry to your aid from the neighbouring provinces. 
What if I do not please you ! There are other 
commanders, tribunes, or even some centurion or 
coromon soldier on whom you can fall back, that the 
monstrous news may not spread over the whole world 
that you are to follow in the train of Ci\ilis and 
Classicus and support them in their invasion of 
Italy. When the Germans and Gauls have led you 
to the walls of Rome, will you then raise your arms 
against your native land? My soul revolts at the 
thought of such a crime. Will you mount guard for 
Tutor, a Treveran ? Shall a Bata\ian give the signal 
for battle ? Will you recruit the ranks of the Ger- 
mans .'' What will be the result of your crime when 
the Roman legions have ranged themselves against 
you? Will you become deserters for a second time, 
a second time traitors, and waver back and forth 
between your new and old allegiance, hated by the 
gods ? I pray and beseech thee, Jupiter, most good 
and great, to whom we have rendered the honour 
of so many triumphs during eight hundred and twenty 
years, and thee, Quirinus, father of Rome, that, if 
it has not been your pleasure that this camp be kept 
pure and inviolate under my leadership, at least you 
will not allow it to be defiled and polluted by a 
Tutor and a Classicus ; give to Roman soldiers 
either innocence or repentance, prompt and without 
disaster." 

LIX. The troops received this speech with varied 
feehngs of hope, fear, and shame. Vocula had with- 
drawn and was preparing to end his life, but his 
freedmen and slaves prevented him from voluntarily 

"3 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

mortem sponte praevenire. Et Classicus misso 
Aemilio Longino, desertore primae legionis, caedem 
eius maturavit; Herennium et Numisium legates 
vinciri satis visum. Dein sumptis Romani imperii 
insignibus in castra venit. Nee illi, quamquam ad 
omne facinus durato, verba ultra suppeditavere 
quam ut sacramentum recitaret: iuravere qui 
aderant pro imperio Galliarum. Interfectorem Vo- 
culae altis ordinibus, ceteros, ut quisque flagitium 
navaverat, praemiis attoUit. 

Divisae inde inter Tutorem et Classieum curae. 
Tutor valida manu circumdatos Agrippinensis quan- 
tumque militum apud superiorem Rheni ripam in 
eadem verba adigit, occisis^ Mogontiaci tribunis, 
pulso castrorum praefecto, qui detractaverant : 
Classicus corruptissimum quemque e deditis pergere 
ad obsesses iubet, veniam ostentantis, si praesentia 
sequerentur : aliter nihil spei, famem ferrumque 
et extrema passuros. Adiecere qui missi erant 
exemplum suum. 

LX. Obsessos hinc fides, inde egestas inter decus 
ac flagitium distrahebant. Cunctantibus solita insoli- 
taque alimenta deerant, absumptis iumentis equisque 
et ceteris animalibus, quae profana foedaque in 
usum necessitas vertit. Virgulta postremo et stirpis 
et internatas saxis herbas vellentes miseriarum 

1 occisi M. 
114 



BOOK IV. Lix.-LX. 

anticipating the most hideous of deaths. Classicus 
sent Aemilius Longinus, a deserter from the First 
legion, and so had Vocula quickly despatched; as 
for the legates, Herennius and Numisius, he was satis- 
fied with putting them into chains. Then he assumed 
the insignia of a Roman general and entered the 
camp. Hardened as he was to every crime, he found 
not a word to utter beyond stating the oath : those 
who were present swore allegiance to the " Empire 
of the Gauls." Vocula's assassin he honoured \sith 
promotion to a high rank ; on the others he bestowed 
rewards proportionate to their crimes. 

Then Tutor and Classicus divided the conduct of 
the war between them. Tutor besieged Cologne 
with a strong force and compelled its inhabitants 
and all the soldiers on the upper Rhine to take the 
same oath of allegiance ; at Mayence he killed the 
tribunes and expelled the prefect of the camp when 
they refused to swear : Classicus ordered the worst 
of the men who had surrendered to go to the be- 
sieged, and offer them pardon if they would accept 
the actual situation : otherwise there was no hope ; 
they would suffer famine, sword, and the worst 
extremities. His messengers emphasized their words 
by citing their own example. 

LX. Loyalty on the one hand, famine on the 
other, kept the besieged hesitating between honour 
and disgrace. As they thus wavered, their sources 
of food, both usual and even unusual, failed them, 
for they had consumed their beasts of burden, their 
horses, and all other animals, which, even though 
unclean and disgusting, necessity forced them to 
use. Finally, they tore up even shrubs and roots 
and grasses grov\ang in the crevices of the rocks, 

"5 
i2 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

patientiaeque documentum fuere, donee egregiam 
laudem fine turpi macularent, missis ad Civilem 
legatis vitam orantes. Neque ante preces admissae 
quam in verba Galliarura iurarent: turn pactus 
praedam castrorum dat custodes qui pecuniam calones 
sarcinas retentarent atque ^ ipsos levis abeuntis 
prosequerentur. Ad quintum ferme ^ lapidem coorti 
Germani incautum agmen adgrediuntur. Pugna- 
cissimus quisque in vestigio, multi palantes occu- 
buere: ceteri retro in castra perfugiunt, querente 
sane Civile et increpante Germanos tamquam fidem 
per scelus abrumperent. Simulata ea fuerint an 
retinere saevientis nequiverit, parum adfirmatur. 
Direptis castris faces iniciunt, cunctosque qui proelio 
superfuerant incendium hausit. 

LXI, Civilis barbaro voto post coepta adversus 
Romanes arma propexxim rutilatumque crinem 
patrata demum caede legionum deposuit; et fere- 
batur parvulo filio quosdam captivorum sagittis 
iaculisque pueriHbus figendos obtulisse, Ceterum 
neque se neque quemquam Batavum in verba 
Galliarum adegit, fisus Germanorum opibus et, si 
certandum adversus Gallos de possessione rerum 

^ atque Pichena : atqui M. ^ ferme Wolfflin : fere M. 



1 Of. Pliny, N.H. xxviii. 191, and Martial, viii. 33, 20 

2 Of. Tac. Gerin. 31. 



Ii6 



BOOK IV. LX.-LXT. 

giving thereby a proof at once of their miseries and 
of their endurance, until at last they shamefully 
stained what might have been a splendid reputation 
by sending a delegation to CiviHs and begging for 
their lives. He refused to hear their appeals until 
they swore allegiance to the empire of Gaul : then 
he stipulated for the booty of their camp and sent 
guards to secure the treasure, the camp followers, 
and the baggage, and to escort the soldiers as they 
left their camp empty-handed. When they had 
proceeded about five miles the German troops 
suddenly attacked and beset them as they advanced 
unsuspicious of any danger. The bravest were cut 
down where they stood, many were slain as they 
scattered; the rest escaped back to camp. Civihs, 
it is true, complained of the Germans' action and 
reproached them for breaking faith shamefully. 
But whether this was mere pretence on his part or 
whether he was xmable to hold their fury in check 
is not certainly proved. His troops plundered the 
camp and then set it on fire ; the flames consumed 
all who had survived the battle. 

LXI. Civihs, in accordance with a vow such as 
these barbarians frequently make, had dyed his 
hair red ^ and let it grow long from the time he first 
took up arms against the Romans, but now that the 
massacre of the legions was finally accomphshed, he 
cut it short ; ^ it was also said that he presented his 
little son with some captives to be targets for the 
child's arrows and darts. However, he did not bind 
himself or any Batavian by an oath of allegiance to 
Gaul, for he rehed on the resources of the Germans, 
and he felt that, if it became necessary to dispute 
the empire with the Gauls, he would have the 

117 



THE HISTORIES OF TAGITUS 

foret, inclutus fama et potior, Munius Lupercus 
legatus legionis inter dona missus Veledae.^ Ea virgo 
nationis Bructerae late imperitabat, vetere apud 
Germanos more, quo plerasque feminarum fatidicas 
et augescente superstitione arbitrantur^ deas. Tunc- 
que Veledae auctoritas adolevit ; nam prosperas 
Germanis res et excidium legionum praedixerat. 
Sed Lupercus in itinere interfectus. Pauci cen- 
turionum tribunorumque in Gallia geniti reservantur 
pignus societati. Cohortium alarum legionum hiberna 
subversa cremataque, lis tantum relictis quae Mogon- 
tiaci ae Vindonissae sita sunt. 

LXII. Legio sexta decima cum auxiliis simul 
deditis a Novaesio in coloniam Trevirorum transgredi 
iubetur, praefinita die intra quam castris excederet. 
Medium omne tempus per varias curas egere, igna- 
vissimus quisque caesorum apud Vetera exemplo 
paventes, melior pars rubore et infamia : quale 
illud iter ? Quis dux viae ? Et omnia in arbitrio 
eorum quos vitae neeisque dominos fecissent. Alii 
nulla dedecoris cura pecuniam aut carissima sibimet 
ipsi circumdare, quidam expedire arma telisque 
tamquam in aciem accingi. Haec meditantibus 
advenit proficiscendi bora expectatione tristior. 

^ Veledae Ryckius : velaedae M. 

* arbitrantur ed. Spirensis : arbitrentur 31. 

^ Later Veleda was captured and brought to Rome. Cf. 
Tac. Germ. 8; and Statius, Silvae 1. 4, 90. 
* Windisch. 

ii8 



BOOK IV. Lxi.-Lxn. 

advantage of his reputation and his superior power. 
Munius Lupercus, commander of a legion, was sent, 
among other gifts, to Veleda. This maiden of the 
tribe of the Bructeri enjoyed extensive authority, 
according to the ancient German custom, which 
regards many women as endowed with prophetic 
powers and, as the superstition grows, attributes 
divinity to them. At this time Veleda 's influence 
was at its height, since she had foretold the German 
success and the destruction of the legions.^ But 
Lupercus was killed on the road. A few of the 
centurions and tribunes of Galhc birth were reserved 
as hostages to assure the alliance. The i^-inter 
quarters of the auxihary infantrv'^ and cavalry and of 
the legions were pulled down and burned, with the 
sole exception of those at Mayence and Vindonissa.^ 
LXII. The Sixteenth legion, with the auxihary 
troops that had submitted to Civihs at the same 
time, was ordered to move from Novaesium to the 
colony of the Treviri, and the day was fixed before 
which it was to leave camp. All the intervening 
time the soldiers spent amid many anxieties : the 
cowards were terrified by the fate of those who had 
been massacred at Vetera, the better troops were 
distressed by a sense of shame and disgrace. They 
asked themselves : " What kind of a march will 
this be ? Who will lead us ? Everything will be 
at the mercy of those whom we have made masters 
of hfe and death." Others had no sense of disgrace 
and stowed about their persons their money and 
dearest possessions ; some made ready their arms 
and girded on their weapons as if for battle. \Miile 
they were thus occupied, the hour for departure 
arrived ; but this proved sadder than their period 

119 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

Quippe intra vallum deformitas haud perinde nota- 
bilis : detexit ignominiam campus et dies. Revulsae 
imperatorum imagines, indecora ^ signa, fulgentibus 
hinc inde Gallorum vexillis ; silens agmen et velut 
longae exequiae ; dux Claudius Sanctus effosso oculo 
dirus ore, ingenio debilior. Duplicatur flagitium, 
postquam desertis Bonnensibus castris altera se legio 
miseuerat. Et vulgata captarum legionum fama 
cuncti qui paulo ante Romanorum nomen horrebant, 
procurrentes ex agris tectisque et undique efFusi 
insolito spectaculo nimium fruebantur. Non tulit 
ala Picentina gaudium insultantis vulgi, spretisque 
Sancti promissis aut minis Mogontiacum abeunt ; 
ac forte obvio interfectore Voculae Longino, coniectis 
in eum telis initium exolvendae in posterum culpae 
fecere : legiones nihil mutato itinere ante moenia 
Trevirorum considunt. 

LXIII. Civilis et Classicus rebus secundis sublati, 
an coloniam Agrippinensem diripiendam exercitibus 
suis permitterent dubitavere. Saevitia ingenii ^ et 
cupidine praedae ad excidium civitatis trahebantur: 
obstabat ratio belli et novum imperium inchoantibus 
utilis clementiae fama; Civilem etiam benefieii 

^ indecora Madvig : inhora M. 
^ ingenii Agricola : ingenti M. 

^ Portrait medallions of the emperors were regularly 
attached to the shafts of the standards and eagles. Of. i. 41. 
^ At the modern Treves. 



BOOK IV. Lxii.-Lxni. 

of anticipation ; for within the walls their humiliat- 
ing condition had not been so noticeable : the open 
ground and the light of day disclosed their shame. 
The portraits of the emperors had been torn dovi-n ; 
their standards were unadorned,^ while the Gauls' 
ensigns glittered on every side ; their line moved 
in silence, Hke a long funeral train, led by Claudius 
Sanctus, who was repulsive in appearance, having 
had one eye gouged out, and was even weaker in 
intellect. Their shame was doubled when another 
legion deserting the camp at Bonn joined their line. 
Moreover, now that the report that the legions had 
been captured was spread abroad, all who but yester- 
day were shuddering at the name of Rome, running 
from their fields and houses and pouring in from 
every side, displayed extravagant delight in this 
unusual spectacle. The squadron of Picentine horse 
could not endure the joy exhibited by the insulting 
mob, but, scorning the promises and threats of 
Sanctus, rode away to Mayence ; on the way they 
happened to meet Longinus, the assassin of Vocula, 
whom they buried under a shower of weapons and 
so began the future expiation of their guilt : the 
legions, without changing their course, pitched 
camp before the walls of the Treviri.^ 

LXIII. Civilis and Classicus, elated by their 
success, debated whether they should not turn 
Cologne over to their armies to plunder. Their 
natural cruelty and their greed for booty incUned 
them to favour the destruction of the city : in 
opposition were the interests of the war and the 
advantage of a reputation for clemency at this time 
when they were estabHshing a new empire ; Civilis, 
moreover, was influenced also by the memory of 



THE HISTORIES OF TAGITUS 

memoria flexit, quod filium eius primo rerum motu 
in colonia Agrippinensi deprehensum honorata 
custodia habuerant.^ Sed Transrhenanis gentibus 
invisa civitas opulentia auctuque ; neque alium 
finem belli rebantur quam si promisca ea sedes 
omnibus Germanis foret aut disiecta Ubios quoque 
dispersisset. 

LXIV. Igitur Tencteri, Rheno discreta gens, 
missis legatis mandata apud concilium Agrippi- 
nensium edi iubent,^ quae ferocissimus e legatis in 
hunc modum protulit : " redisse vos in corpus nomen- 
que Germaniae communibus deis et praecipuo 
deorum Marti grates agimus, vobisque gratulamur 
quod tandem liberi inter liberos eritis ; nam ad 
hunc diem flumina ac terras et caelum quodam modo 
ipsum clauserant Romani ut conloquia congressusque 
nostros arcerent, vel, quod contumeliosius est viris 
ad arma natis, inermes ac prope nudi sub custode 
et pretio coiremus. Sed ut amicitia societasque 
nostra in aeternum rata sint, postulamus a vobis 
muros coloniae, munimenta servitii, detrahatis (etiam 
fera animalia, si clausa teneas, virtutis obliviscuntur), 
Romanos omnis in finibus vestris trucidetis (baud 
facile libertas et domini miscentur) : bona inter- 

^ custodia habuerant Wurm : custodiae erant M. 
* iuberent M. 

^ The Ubii were naturally suspected by their neighbours in 
Germany, for, although of German origin, they had long 
since adopted Roman customs, developed a prosperous urban 
life, and grown wealthy and great. Cf. chap, xxviii above. 

^ Cf. chap. xxi. 



BOOK IV. Lxni.-Lxiv. 

the service done him, when at the beginning of the 
revolt his son had been arrested in Cologne, but had 
been treated with honour while in custody. Yet 
the tribes across the Rhine hated the city for its 
wealth and rapid growth; and they beUeved that 
there could be no end to the war unless this place 
should be a common home for all the Germans \Aith- 
out distinction, or else the city destroyed and the 
Ubii scattered hke the other peoples. ^ 

LXIV. So the Tencteri, a tribe separated from 
the colony by the Rhine ,2 sent an embassy with 
orders to present their demands in an assembly of 
the people of Cologne. These demands the most 
violent of the delegates set forth thus: " We give 
thanks to our common gods and to Mars before all 
others that you have returned to the body of the 
German peoples and to the German name, and we 
congratulate you that at last you are going to be 
free men among free men; for until to-day the 
Romans have closed rivers and lands, and in a 
fashion heaven itself, to keep us from meeting and 
conferring together, or else — and this is a severer 
insult to men bom to arms — to make us meet un- 
armed and almost naked, under guard and paying 
a price for the privilege.^ But to secure for ever 
our friendship and alUance, we demand that you 
take down the walls of your colony, the bulwarks 
of your slavery, for even wild animals forget their 
courage if you keep them shut up ; we demand that 
you kill all the Romans in your territories. Liberty 
and masters are not easily combined together. The 

' The colony being defended by a wall, admission to the 
town was subject to police regulations and a tax. Cf. the 
following chapter. 

123 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

fectorum in medium cedant, ne quis occulere quic- 
quam aut segregare causam suam possit. Liceat 
nobis vobisque utramque ripam colere, ut olim 
maioribus nostris : quo modo lucem diemque omnibus 
hominibus, ita omnis terras fortibus viris natura 
aperuit. Instituta cultumque patrium resumite, 
abruptis voluptatibus, quibus Romani plus adversus 
subiectos quam armis valent. Sincerus et integer 
et servitutis oblitus populus aut ex aequo agetis aut 
aliis 1 imperitabitis." 

LXV. Agrippinenses sumpto consultandi spatio, 
quando neque subire condiciones metus futuri neque 
palam aspernari condicio praesens sinebat, in hunc 
modum respondent : " quae prima libertatis facultas 
data est, avidius quam cautius sumpsimus, ut vobis 
ceterisque Germanis, consanguineis nostris, iungere- 
mur. Muros civitatis, congregantibus se cum maxime 
Romanorum exercitibus, augere nobis quam diruere 
tutius est. Si qui ex Italia aut provinciis alienigenae 
in finibus nostris fuerant, eos bellum absumpsit vel 
in suas quisque sedis refugerunt. Deductis olim et 
nobiscum per conubium sociatis quique mox pro- 
venerunt haec patria est; nee vos adeo iniquos 
existimamus ut interfici a nobis parentes fratres 
Uberos nostros velitis. Vectigal et onera commer- 
ciorum resolvimus : sint transitus incustoditi sed 
diurni et inermes, donee nova et recentia iura 

^ avis 31. 

^ The veterans settled here in 50 a.d. Cf. Ann. xii. 27. 
124 



BOOK IV. Lxiv.-Lxv. 

property of those killed is to be put into the common 
stock that no one may be able to hide anything or 
separate his owTi interest. Both we and you are to 
have the right to hve on both banks, as our fathers 
once did. Even as Nature has always made the 
light of day free to all mankind, so she has made all 
lands open to the brave. Resume the manners and 
customs of your fathers, cutting off those pleasures 
which give the Romans more power over their 
subjects than their arms bestow. A people pure, 
untainted, forgetting your servitude, you will live 
the equals of any or will rule others." 

LXV. The people of Cologne first took some time 
to consider the matter, and then, since fear for the 
future did not allow them to submit to the terms 
proposed and present circumstances made it im- 
possible to reject them openly, they made the 
following reply : " The first opportunity of freedom 
we seized with more eagerness than caution that 
we might join ourselves with you and the other 
Germans who are of our own blood. But it is safer 
to build the walls of the town higher rather than to 
pull them down at the moment when the Roman 
armies are concentrating. All the foreigners of 
Itahan or provincial origin within our lands have 
been destroyed by war or have fled each to his ovra 
home. The first settlers,^ established here long ago, 
have become aUied with us by marriage, and to 
them as well as to their children this is their native 
city ; nor can we think that you are so unjust as to 
wish us to kill our o\vn parents, brothers, and children. 
We now suppress the duties and all charges that are 
burdens on trade : let there be free intercourse 
between us, but by day and without arms until by 

125 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

vetustate in consuetudinem ^ vertantur. Arbitrum 
habebimus Civilem et Veledam, apud quos pacta 
sancientur." Sic lenitis Tencteris legati ad Civilem 
ac Veledam missi cum donis cuncta ex voluntate 
Agrippinensium perpetravere ; sed coram adire 
adloquique Veledam negatum: arcebantur aspectu 
quo venerationis plus inesset. Ipsa edita in turre ; 
delectus e propinquis consulta responsaque ut inter- 
nuntius numinis portabat. 

LXVI. Civilis societate Agrippinensium auctus 
proximas civitates adfectare aut adversantibus bel- 
lum inferre statuit. Occupatisque Sunucis et iuven- 
tute eorum per cohortis composita, quo minus ultra 
pergeret, Claudius Labeo Baetasiorum Tungro- 
rumque et Nerviorum tumultuaria manu restitit, 
fretus loco, quia pontem Mosae fluminis anteceperat. 
Pugnabaturque in angustiis ambigue donee Germani 
transnatantes terga Labeonis invasere ; simul Civilis, 
ausus an ex composite, intulit se agmini Tungrorum, 
et clara voce " non ideo^ " inquit " bellum sumpsimus, 
ut Batavi et Treviri gentibus imperent : procul haec 
a nobis adrogantia. Accipite societatem : trans- 

^ vetustate in consuetudinem Madvig : in vetustatem 
consuetudine M. 

* non do M. 

^ Neighbours of the Ubii, to the west between the Meuse 
and the Roer. 

* Of. chap. Ivi. 

126 



BOOK IV. Lxv.-Lxvi. 

lapse of time we shall become accustomed to our 
new and unfamiliar rights. We will have as arbiters 
Civilis and Veleda, before whom all our agreements 
shall be ratified." With these proposals they first 
calmed the Tencteri and then sent a delegation to 
Civilis and Veleda with gifts which obtained from 
them everything that the people of Cologne desired ; 
yet the embassy was not allowed to approach Veleda 
herself and address her directly : they were kept 
from seeing her to inspire them with more respect. 
She herself lived in a high tower ; one of her relatives, 
chosen for the purpose, carried to her the questions 
and brought back her answers, as if he were the 
messenger of a god. 

LXVI. Now that the power of Civilis was in- 
creased by alliance ^vith the people of Cologne, he 
decided to try to -win over the neighbouring peoples, 
or, if they refused, to attack them. He had already 
gained the Sunuci ^ and had organized their young 
men into companies of infantry, when Claudius 
Labeo offered resistance with a force of the Baetasii, 
Tungri, and Nervii that he had hastily assembled,^ 
but he had confidence in his position because he 
had seized the bridge over the Meuse. The forces 
engaged in this narrow space without a decisive issue 
until the Germans swam across the river and attacked 
Labeo's rear ; at the same time Ci\'ilis, acting under 
a bold impulse or in accord with a previous arrange- 
ment, rushed to the line of the Tungri and cried 
in a loud voice : " We did not begin the war -vsith 
the purpose of making the BataWans and the Tre\'iri 
lords over the other peoples : such arrogance is far 
from our minds. Accept alliance with us : I am 
joining you, whether you wish me to be your leader 

127 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

gredior ad vos, seu me ducem seu militem mavultis." 
Movebatur vulgus condebantque gladios, cum Cam- 
panus ac luvenalis e primoribus Tungrorum universam 
ei gentem dedidere ; Labeo antequam circumveni- 
retur profugit. Civilis Baetasios quoque ac Nervios 
in fidem acceptos copiis suis adiunxit, ingens rerum, 
perculsis cmtatum animis vel sponte inclinantibus. 
LXVII. Interea lulius Sabinus proiectis foederis 
Romani monumentis Caesarem se salutari iubet 
magnamque et inconditam popularium turbam in 
Sequanos rapit, conterminam civitatem et nobis 
fidam ; nee Sequani detractavere certamen. Fortuna 
melioribus adfuit: fusi Lingones. Sabinus festi- 
natum temere proelium pari formidine deseruit; 
utque famam exitii sui faceret, villam, in quam 
perfugerat, cremavit, illic voluntaria morte interisse 
creditus. Sed quibus artibus latebrisque vitam per 
novem mox annos traduxerit, simul amicorum eius 
constantiam et insigne Epponinae uxoris exemplum 
sue loco reddemus. Sequanorum prospera acie belli 
impetus stetit. Resipiscere paulatim civitates fasque 
et foedera respicere, principibus Remis, qui per 

1 Cf. chap. Iv. 

* That is, the bronze records recording the terms of alliance. 
' Living around the modem Besangon. 

* The portion of the Histories in which Tacitus must have 
related the story is now lost, but the tale is given by Dio 
Cassius, Ixvi. 16, and Plutarch, Amat. 25. Sabinus and his 
wife lived for nine years in a cave where two sons were bom. 
Later they were discovered and put to death. 



BOOK IV. Lxvi.-Lxvii. 

or prefer me to be a common soldier." The mass 
of the Tungri were moved by this appeal and were 
in the act of sheathing their swords when Companus 
and Juvenalis, two of their chief men, surrendered 
the whole people to him ; Labeo escaped before he 
could be surrounded. Ci\'ilis received the submis- 
sion of the Baetasii and the Nervii as well, and 
added them to his forces : his power was now great, 
for the peoples were either terrified or inclined 
voluntarily to his cause. 

LXVII. In the meantime Julius Sabinus ^ had 
destroyed all memorials of the alUance -with Rome * 
and directed that he should be saluted as Caesar; 
then he hurried a great and unorganized mob of his 
countrymen against the Sequani,^ a people that 
touched the boundaries of the Lingones and were 
faithful to us. The Sequani did not refuse battle ; 
fortune favoured the better cause : the Lingones were 
routed. Sabinus was as prompt to flee in terror 
from the battle as he had been over-ready to begin 
it ; and to spread a report of his own death he 
burned the country house to which he had fled for 
refuge, and it was generally believed that he had 
perished there by suicide. But I shall later tell in 
the proper place by what means and in what hiding- 
places he prolonged his life for nine years, and I 
shall also describe the fideUty of his friends and the 
noble example set by his wife Epponina.* The 
success of the Sequani brought the impulse for war 
to a halt. Gradually the communities came to 
their senses and began to regard their dutv under 
their treaties ; in this movement the Remi took the 
lead by sending word through the Gallic provinces 
that envoys should be despatched to debate in their 

129 

VOL. II. K 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

Gallias edixere ut missis legatis in commune consul- 
tarent, libertas an pax placeret. 

LXVIII. At Romae cuncta in deterius audita 
Mucianum angebant, ne quamquam^ egregii duces 
(iam enim Galium Annium et Petilium Cei-ialem 
delegerat) summam belli parum tolerarent.^ Nee 
relinquenda urbs sine rectore ; et Domitiani in- 
domitae libidines timebantur, suspectis, uti diximus, 
Primo Antonio Varoque Arrio. Varus praetorianis 
praepositus vim atque arma retinebat : cum Mucianus 
pulsum loco, ne sine solacio ageret, annonae praefecit. 
utque Domitiani animum A^aro baud alienum dele- 
niret, Arrecinum Clementem, domui Vespasiani per 
adfinitatem innexum et gratissimura Domitiano, 
praetorianis praeposuit, patrem eius sub C. Caesare 
egregie functum ea cura dictitans, laetum militibus 
idem nomen, atque ipsum, quamquam senatorii 
ordinis, ad utraque munia sufficere. Adsumuntur 
e civitate clarissimus quisque et alii per ambitionem. 
simul Domitianus Mucianusque accingebantur, dis- 
pari animo, ille spe ac iuventa properus, hie moras 
nectens quis flagrantem retineret, ne ferocia aetatis 
et pravis impulsoribus, si exercitum invasisset, paci 

^ ne quamquam Mercerus : nequaquam M. 
^ tolerarent Mercerus : tolerate M. 



^ Mucianus had good reason to be anxious : Domitian was 
unstable and ambitious, and there was cause to doubt the 
fidelity of Primus Antonius and Varus Arrius (Cf. Ill, liif. 
Ixxviii; IV, xxxix). By making Arrecinus Clemens prefect 
of the praetorians, Mucianus disarmed Domitian and his 
possible supporter Varus, and at the same time he secured 
the fidelity of the praetorian guard to Vespasian. 

* Vespasian's first wife had been a sister of Clemens. 

130 



BOOK IV. Lxvii.-Lxvm. 

common interest whether the GalHc peoples preferred 
liberty or peace. 

LXVIII. But at Rome all the news from Gaul 
was exaggerated for the worse and caused Mucianus 
anxiety lest even distinguished generals — for he had 
already selected Callus Annius and Petilius Cerealis 
— should not be able to support the whole burden 
of tliis great war. He could not leave the city 
without a head ; and he looked with anxiety on the 
unbridled passions of Domitian, while he suspected, 
as I have said, Primus Antonius and Varus Arrius.^ 
Varus, at the head of the praetorian guard, still had 
control of an armed force : Mucianus removed him, 
but, to avoid lea\ang him with no solace, placed him 
in charge of the supply of grain. And to pacify 
Domitian's feeUngs, which were not unfavourable to 
Varus, he put in command of the praetorians Arre- 
cinus Clemens, who was connected >\ith \'espasian's 
house by marriage ^ and beloved by Domitian, 
dwelUng on the fact that Clemens 's father had held 
the same office -with distinction under Gains Caesar, 
that his name was popular with the soldiers, and 
that Clemens himself, although of senatorial rank, 
was equal to the duties of prefect as well as to those 
of his o^vn class.^ All the most eminent citizens 
were enrolled for the expedition, others at their 
own sohcitation. So Domitian and Mucianus were 
making ready to set out, but with different feelings ; 
Domitian being eager ^vith youthful hope, Mucianus 
contriving delays to check the other's ardour for 
fear that, if he once got control of the army, his 
youthful impetuosity and his evil counsellors would 

* From Augastos's day, the prefect of the praetorian guard 
had regularly been of equestrian rank. 

k2 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

belloque male consuleret. Legiones victrices, octava, 
undecima, decima tertia,i Vitellianarum unaetvicen- 
sima, e recens conscriptis secunda Poeninis Cotti- 
anisque Alpibus, pars monte Graio traducuntur; 
quarta decima legio a Britannia, sexta ac prima ex 
Hispania accitae. 

Igitur venientis exercitus fama et suopte ingenio 
ad mitiora inclinantes Galliarum civitates in Remos 
convenere. Trevirorum legatio illic opperiebatur, 
acerrimo instinctore belli lulio Valentino. Is medi- 
tata oratione cuncta magnis imperiis obiectari solita 
contumeliasque et invidiam in populum Romanum 
efFudit, turbidus miscendis seditionibus et plerisque 
gratus vaecordi facundia. 

LXIX. At lulius Auspex a primoribus Remorum, 
vim Romanam paeisque bona dissertans et sumi 
bellum etiam ab ignavis, strenuissimi cuiusque peri- 
culo geri, iamque super caput legiones, sapientissi- 
mum quemque reverentia fideque, iuniores periculo 
ac metu continuit : et Valentini animum laudabant, 
consilium Auspicis sequebantur. Constat obstitisse 
Treviris Lingonibusque apud Gallias, quod Vindicis 
motu cum Verginio steterant. Deterruit plerosque 
provinciarum aemulatio : quod bello caput ? Unde 

^ octava, undecima, decima tertia Mommsen: vim. xj viij 
M. 

132 



BOOK IV. Lxvin.-Lxix. 

make him a peril to peace and war alike. The 
victorious legions, the Eighth, Eleventh, Thirteenth, 
and the Twenty-first, which had been of the Vitellian 
party, as well as the Second, lately enHsted, were 
led into Gaul, part over the Pennine and Cottian 
Alps, part over the Graian ; the Fourteenth legion 
was called from Britain, the Sixth and First were 
summoned from Spain. 

So when the news of the approaching army got 
abroad, the GalUc states that naturally inclined to 
milder courses assembled among the Remi. A 
delegation of the Tre^•iri was waiting for them 
there, led by Juhus Valentinus, the most fiery 
advocate of war. In a studied speech he poured 
forth all the common charges against great empires, 
and heaped insults and invectives on the Roman 
people, being a speaker well fitted to stir up trouble 
and revolt, and popular with the mass of his hearers 
for his mad eloquence. 

LXIX. But Juhus Auspex, a noble of the Remi, 
dwelt on the power of Rome and the blessings of 
peace ; he pointed out that even cowards can begin 
war, but that it can be prosecuted only at the risk 
of the bravest, and, moreover, the legions were 
already upon them; thus he restrained the most 
prudent of his people by considerations of reverence 
and loyalty, the younger men by pointing out the 
danger and arousing their fears : the people praised 
the spirit of Valentinus, but they followed the advice 
of Auspex. It is beyond question that the fact that 
the Tre\-iri and Lingones had stood with Verginius 
at the time of the revolt of Vindex injured them in 
the eyes of the Gauls. Many were deterred bv the 
rivalry between the Galhc provinces. " WTiere," 

^33 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

ius auspiciumque peteretur ? Quam, si cuncta pro- 
venissent, sedem imperio legerent ? Nondum victoria, 
lam discordia erat, aliis foedera, quibusdam opes 
virisque aut vetustatem originis per iurgia ^ iactanti- 
bus : taedio futurorum praesentia placuere. Scri- 
buntur ad Treviros epistulae nomine Galliarum ut 
abstinerent armis, impetrabili venia et paratis depre- 
catoribus, si paeniteret: restitit idem Valentinus 
obstruxitque civitatis suae auris, baud perinde 
instruendo bello intentus quam frequens contionibus. 
LXX. Igitur non Treviri neque Lingones ceteraeve 
rebellium civitates pro magnitudine suscepti dis- 
eriminis agere ; ne duces quidem in unum consulere, 
sed Civilis avia Belgarum circumibat, dum Claudium 
Labeonem capere aut exturbare nititur; Classicus 
segne plerumque otium trahens velut parto imperio 
fruebatur; ne Tutor quidem maturavit superiorem 
Germaniae ripam et ardua Alpium praesidiis claudere. 
Atque interim unaetvicensima legio Vindonissa, 
Sextilius Felix cum auxiliariis cohortibus per Raetiam 
inrupere ; accessit ala Singularium excita olim a 
Vitellio, deinde in partis Vespasiani transgressa. 

* iurgia Manitius : luria M. 
1 Cf . iii. 6. 



BOOK IV. Lxix.-Lxx. 

they asked, " are we to find a leader for the war? 
Where look for orders and the auspices? What 
shall we choose for our capital if all goes well? " 
They had not yet gained the N-ictory, but discord 
already prevailed ; some boasted in insulting fashion 
of their treaties, some of their wealth and strength 
or of their ancient origin : in disgust at the prospects 
of the future, they finally chose their present state. 
Letters were sent to the TrcNiri in the name of the 
GalUc provinces, bidding them to refrain from armed 
action, and saying pardon could be obtained and 
that men were ready to intercede for them, if they 
repented: Valentinus opposed again and succeeded 
in closing the ears of his fellow tribesmen to these 
proposals ; he was not, however, so active in making 
actual provision for war as he was assiduous in 
haranguing the people. 

LXX. The result was that neither the Treviri nor 
the Lingones nor the other rebelUous people made 
efforts at all proportionate to the gravity of the 
crisis ; not even the leaders consulted together, but 
Civilis ranged the pathless wilds of Belgium in his 
efforts to capture Claudius Labeo or to drive him 
out of the country, while Classicus spent most of his 
time in indolent ease, enjoying his supreme power 
as if it were already secured ; even Tutor made no 
haste to occupy with troops the Upper Rhine and 
the passes of the Alps. In the meantime the 
Twenty-first legion penetrated by way of ^''indonissa 
and Sextilius Fehx entered through Raetia with 
some auxiliary infantry ^ ; these troops were joined 
by the squadron of picked horse that had originally 
been formed by Vitellius but which had later gone 
over to Vespasian's side. These were commanded 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

Praeerat lulius Briganticus sorore Cmlis genitus, 
ut ferine acerrima proximorum odia sunt, invisus 
avunculo infensusque. Tutor Trevirorum copias, 
recent! Vangionum, Caeraeatium, Tribocorum dilectu 
auctas, veterano pedite atque equite firmavit, cor- 
ruptis spe aut metu subactis legionariis; qui primo 
cohortem praemissam a Sextilio Felice interficiunt, 
mox ubi duces exercitusque Romanus propinquabant, 
honesto transfugio rediere, secutis Tribocis Van- 
gionibusque et Caeracatibus. Tutor Treviris comi- 
tantibus, vitato Mogontiaco, Bingium concessit, 
fidens loco, quia pontem Navae ^ fluminis abruperat, 
sed incursu cohortium, quas Sextilius ducebat, et 
reperto vado proditus fususque. Ea clade perculsi 
Treviri, et plebes omissis armis per agros palatur: 
quidam principum, ut primi posuisse bellum vide- 
rentur, in civitates quae societatem Romanam non 
exuerant, perfugere. Legiones a Novaesio Bonnaque 
in Treviros, ut supra memoravimus, traductae se 
ipsae 2 in verba Vespasiani adigunt. Haec Valentino 
absente gesta ; qui ubi adventabat furens cunctaque 
rursus in turbas et exitium conversurus, legiones in 
Mediomatricos, sociam civitatem, abscessere : Valen- 
tinus ac Tutor in arma Treviros retrahunt, occisis 

^ Navae Rhenanus : navas M. 
* ipsae Ernesti: ipsas M. 

1 Cf. ii. 22. 

^ The Vangiones lived in the district of Worms ; the Triboci 
in Lower Alsace ; while the Oaeracates are otherwise unknown, 
^ Bingen. * The Nahe. ^ Living about Metz. 

136 



BOOK IV. Lxx. 

by Julius Briganticus, the son of a sister of Civilis,^ 
who was hated by his uncle and who hated his uncle 
in turn with all the bitter hatred that frequently 
exists between the closest relatives. Tutor first 
added to the Tre\iran troops a fresh levy of Van- 
giones, Caeracates, and Triboci,^ and then reinforced 
these with veteran foot and horse, drawn from the 
legionaries whom he had either corrupted by hope 
or overcome with fear ; these forces first massacred 
a cohort despatched in advance by Sextihus Fehx ; 
then, when the Roman generals and armies began to 
draw near, they returned to their allegiance by an 
honourable desertion, followed by the Triboci, Van- 
giones, and Caeracates. Tutor, accompanied by the 
Tre\ari, avoided Mayence and withdrew to Bingium.^ 
He had confidence in this position, for he had de- 
stroyed the bridge across the Nava,* but he was 
assailed by some cohorts under Sextihus, whose 
discovery of a ford exposed him and forced him 
to flee. This defeat terrified the Tre^iri, and the 
common people abandoned their arms and dis- 
persed among their fields : some of the chiefs, in 
their desire to seem the first to give up war. took 
refuge in those states that had not abandoned their 
alhance with Rome. The legions that had been 
moved from Xovaesium and Bonn to the Tre\iri, as 
I have stated above, now voluntarily took the oath 
of allegiance to Vespasian. All this happened during 
the absence of ^'^alentinus ; when he returned, how- 
ever, he was beside himself and -vWshed to throw 
everything again into confusion and ruin ; where- 
upon the legions withdrew among the Mediomatrici, 
an allied people ^ : Valentinus and Tutor swept the 
Treviri again into arms, and murdered the two 

137 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

Herennio ac Numisio legatis quo minore spe veniae 
cresceret vinculum sceleris. 

LXXI. Hie belli status erat cum Petilius Cerialis 
Mogontiacum venit. Eius adventu erectae spes ; 
ipse pugnae avidus et contemnendis quara cavendis 
hostibus melior, ferocia verborum militem incende- 
bat, ubi primum congredi licuisset, nullam proelio 
moram facturus. Dilectus per Galliam habitos in 
civitates remittit ac nuntiare iubet sufficere imperio 
legiones : socii ad munia pacis redirent securi velut 
confecto bello quod Romanae manus excepissent. 
Auxit ea res Gallorum obsequium : nam recepta 
iuventute facilius tributa toleravere, proniores ad 
officia quod spernebantur. At Civilis et Classicus 
ubi pulsum Tutorem, caesos Treviros, cuncta hosti- 
bus prospera accepere, trepidi ac properantes, dum 
dispersas suorura copias conducunt, crebris interim 
nuntiis Valentinum monuere ne summae rei peri- 
culum faceret. Eo rapidius Cerialis, missis in Medio- 
matricos qui breviore itinere legiones in hostem 
verterent, contracto quod erat militiun Mogontiaci 
quantumque secum transvexerat, tertiis castris 
Rigodulum venit, quem locum magna Trevirorum 

1 Riol. 
138 



BOOK IV. Lxx.-Lxxi. 

commanders Herennius and Numisius to strengthen 
the bond of their common crime by diminishing their 
hope of pardon. 

LXXI. This was the state of war when Petilius 
Cerialis reached Mayence. His arrival aroused great 
hopes; Cerialis was himself eager for battle and 
better fitted by nature to despise a foe than to 
guard against him; he fired his soldiers by his 
fierce words, declaring that he Avould not delay a 
moment when he had a chance to engage the enemy. 
The troops that had been levied throughout Gaul 
he sent back to their several states, and told them 
to report that the legions were sufficient to sustain 
the empire : the allies were to return to their peace- 
ful duties without any anxiety, since, when the 
Roman arms once undertook a war, that war was 
virtually ended. This act increased the ready sub- 
mission of the Gauls ; for now that they had re- 
covered their young men they bore the burdens of 
the tribute more 'easily, and they were more ready 
to be obedient when they saw that they were de- 
spised. But when Civahs and Classicus heard that 
Tutor had been defeated, the Tre\ari cut to pieces, 
and that their foes were everywhere successful, they 
became alarmed and hastened to collect their 
scattered forces ; in the meantime they sent many 
messages to warn Valentinus not to risk a decisive 
engagement. These circumstances moved Cerialis 
to prompter action : he despatched some officers to 
the Mediomatrici to direct the legions against the 
enemy by a more direct route, while he united the 
troops at Mayence with all the forces that he had 
brought -vvith him; after a three days' march he 
came to Rigodulum,^ which Valentinus had occupied 

139 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

manu Valentinus insederat, montibus aut Mosella 
amne saeptum ; et addiderat fossas obicesque saxo- 
rum. Nee deterruere ea munimenta Romanum 
dueem quo minus peditem perrumpere iuberet, 
equitum aciem in collem erigeret,i spreto hoste, 
quem temere collectum baud ita loco iuvari ut non 
plus suis in virtute foret. Paulum morae in adseensu, 
dum missilia hostium praevehuntur : ut ventum in 
manus, deturbati ruinae modo praecipitantur. Et 
pars equitum aequioribus iugis circumvecta nobilis- 
simos Belgarum, in quis dueem Valentinum, cepit. 

LXXII. Cerialis postero die coloniam Trevirorum 
ingressus est, avido milite eruendae civitatis. Hanc 
esse Classici, hanc Tutoris patriam; horum scelere 
clausas caesasque legiones. Quid tantum Cremonam 
meruisse ? Quam e gremio Italiae raptam quia unius 
noctis moram victoribus attulerit. Stare in confinio 
Germaniae integram sedem spoliis exercituum et 
ducum caedibus ovantem. Redigeretur praeda in 
fiscum : ipsis sufficere ignis et rebellis coloniae ruinas, 
quibus tot castrorum excidia pensarentur. Cerialis 
metu 2 infamiae, si licentia saevitiaque imbuere mili- 

^ erigeret h : frigeret M. 
^ ametu M. 



^ They had in mind Hordeonius, Vocula, Herennius, and 
Numisius. 

140 



BOOK IV. Lxxi.-Lxxii. 

with a large force of Treviri. The town was naturally 
protected by hills or by the Moselle ; in addition 
Valentinus had constructed ditches and stone ram- 
parts. But these fortifications did not deter the 
Roman general from ordering his infantry to assault 
or from sending his cavalry up the hill, since he 
despised his foe, beheving that his own men would 
have more advantage from their courage than the 
enemy's hastily collected forces could gain from 
their position. The Roman troops were delayed a 
little in their ascent while they were exposed to the 
enemy's missiles : when they came to close quarters, 
the Treviri were hurled down headlong Uke a falUng 
building. Moreover, some of the cavalry rode round 
along the lower hills and captiu-ed the noblest of the 
Belgians, among them their leader Valentinus. 

LXXII. On the next day Ceriahs entered the 
colony of the Treviri. His soldiers were eager to 
plunder the town and said: "This is Classicus's 
native city, and Tutor's as well; they are the 
men whose treason has caused oiur legions to be 
besieged and massacred. What monstrous crime 
had Cremona committed? Yet Cremona was torn 
from the very bosom of Italy because she delayed 
the victors one single night. This colony stands on 
the boundaries of Germany, unharmed, and rejoices 
in the spoils taken from our armies and in the murder 
of our commanders.^ The booty may go to the 
imperial treasury : it is enough for us to set fire to 
this rebelhous colony and to destroy it, for in that 
way we can compensate for the destruction of so 
many of our camps." CeriaUs feared the disgrace 
that he would suffer if men were to beheve that he 
imbued his troops with a spirit of Ucence and cruelty, 

141 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

tern crederetur, pressit iras : et paruere, posito 
civium bello ad externa modestiores. Convertit 
inde animos accitarum e Mediomatricis legionum 
miserabilis aspectus. Stabant conscientia flagitii 
maestae, flxis in terram oculis; nulla inter coeuntis 
exereitus consalutatio ^ ; neque solantibus hortanti- 
busve responsa dabant, abditi per tentoria et lucem 
ipsam vitantes. Nee proinde periculum aut metus 
quam pudor ac dedecus obstupefecerat, attonitis 
etiam victoribus, qui vocem precesque adhibere 
non ausi lacrimis ac silentio veniam poscebant, 
donee CeriaUs mulceret animos, fato acta dictitans 
quae militum ducumque discordia vel fraude hostium 
evenissent. Primum ilium stipendiorum et sacra- 
menti diem haberent : priorum facinorum neque 
imperatorem neque se meminisse. Tunc recepti in 
eadem castra, et edictum per manipulos ne quis in 
certamine iurgiove seditionem aut cladem commili- 
toni obiectaret. 

LXXIII. Mox Treviros ac Lingonas ad contionem 
vocatos ita adloquitur: " neque ego umquam facun- 
diam exercui, et populus Romanus ^ virtutem armis 
adfirmavit : sed quoniam ' apud vos verba plurimum 

^ consalutatio dett. : consul tatio M. 

2 populus Romanus Nipperdey : populi Romani M. 

3 quoniam: q M. 

^ These legions were the First and the Sixteenth. Cf. 
chaps. XXV, xxxvii, lix, Ixii, and Ixx above. 

143 



BOOK 1\'. LXAII.-LXXIII. 

and he therefore checked their passionate anger ; 
and they obeyed him, for now that they had given 
up civil war, they were more moderate mth refer- 
ence to foreign foes. Their attention was then 
attracted by the sad aspect which the legions sum- 
moned from among the Mediomatrici presented.^ 
These troops stood there, downcast by the con- 
sciousness of their own guilt, their eyes fixed on the 
ground : when the armies met, there was no exchange 
of greetings ; the soldiers made no answer to those 
who tried to console or to encourage them; they 
remained hidden in their tents and avoided the very 
light of day. It was not so much danger and fear 
as a sense of their shame and disgrace that paralyzed 
them, while even the victors were struck dumb. 
The latter did not dare to speak or make entreat}', 
but by their tears and silence they continued to ask 
forgiveness for their fellows, until Cerialis at last 
quieted them by saying that fate was responsible for 
all that had resulted from the differences between 
the soldiers and their commanders or from the 
treachery of their enemies. He urged them to con- 
sider this as the first day of their service and of 
their allegiance, and he declared that neither the 
emperor nor he remembered their former misdeeds. 
Then they were taken into the same camp with the 
rest, and a proclamation was read in each company 
forbidding any soldier in quarrel or dispute to taunt 
a comrade with treason or murder. 

LXXIII. Presently Cerialis called an assembly of 
the Trevjri and Lingones and addressed them 
thus: "I have never practised orator}' and the 
Roman people has ever asserted its merits by arms : 
but since words have the greatest weight mth you 

143 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

valent bonaque ac mala non sua natura, sed vocibus 
seditiosorum aestimantur, statui pauca disserere 
quae profligato bello utilius sit vobis audisse quam 
nobis dixisse. Terrain vestram ceterorumque Gallo- 
rum ingressi sunt duces imperatoresque Romani 
nulla cupidine, sed maioribus vestris invocantibus, 
quos discordiae usque ad exitium fatigabant, et 
acciti auxilio Germani sociis pariter atque hostibus 
servitutem imposuerant. Quot proeliis adversus 
Cimbros Teutonosque, quantis exercituum nostro- 
rum laboribus quove eventu Germanica beHa tracta- 
verimus, satis clarum. Nee ideo Rhenum insedimus 
ut Italian! tueremur, sed ne quis alius Ariovistus 
regno Galliarum potiretur. An vos cariores Civili 
Batavisque et transrhenanis gentibus creditis quam 
maioribus eorum patres avique vestri fuerunt ? 
Eadem semper causa Germanis transcendendi in 
Gallias, libido atque avaritia et mutandae sedis 
amor, ut relictis paludibus et solitudinibus suis 
fecundissimum hoc solum vosque ipsos possiderent : 
ceterum libertas et speciosa nomina praetexuntur ; 
nee quisquam alienum servitium et dominationem 
sibi concupivit ut non eadem ista vocabula usurparet. 
LXXIV. " Regna bellaque per Gallias semper 
fuere donee in nostrum ius concederetis. Nos, quam- 
quam totiens lacessiti, iure victoriae id solum vobis 

^ The ambition of Ariovistus had been checked by Julius 
Caesar during his first campaign in Gaul, 58 B.C. 

144 



BOOK IV. Lxxni.-Lxxiv. 

and you do not reckon good and evil according to 
their owti nature, but estimate them by the talk of 
seditious men, I have decided to say a few things 
which now that the war is over are more useful for 
you to hear than for me to say. Roman commanders 
and generals entered your land and the lands of the 
other Gauls from no desire for gain but because they 
were invited by your forefathers, who were wearied 
to death by internal quarrels, while the Germans 
whom they had invited to help them had enslaved 
them all, alUes and enemies aUke. How many 
battles we have fought against the Cimbri and 
Teutoni, with what hardships on the part of our 
armies and with what result we have conducted our 
wars against the Germans, is perfectly well known. 
We have occupied the banks of the Rhine not to 
protect Italy but to prevent a second Ariovistus 
from gaining the throne of Gaul.^ Do you believe 
that you are dearer to Civilis and his Batavians or 
to the peoples across the Rhine than your grand- 
fathers and fathers were to their ancestors ? The 
Germans always have the same reasons for crossing 
into the Gallic provinces — lust, avarice, and their 
longing to change their homes, that they may leave 
behind their swamps and deserts, and become 
masters of this most fertile soil and of you your- 
selves : freedom, however, and specious names are 
their pretexts ; but no man has ever been ambitious 
to enslave another or to win dominion for himself 
without using those very same words. 

LXXIV. " There were always kings and wars 
throughout Gaul until you submitted to our laws. 
Although often provoked by you, the only use we 
have made of our rights as victors has been to 

145 

VOL. II. L 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

addidimus, quo pacem tueremur; nam neque quies 
gentium sine armis neque arma sine stipendiis neque 
stipendia sine tributis haberi queunt: cetera in 
communi sita sunt. Ipsi plerumque legionibus 
nostris praesidetis, ipsi has aliasque provincias regitis ; 
nihil separatum clausumve. Et laudatorum princi- 
pum usus ex aequo quamvis procul agentibus : saevi 
proximis ingruunt. Quo modo sterihtatem aut nimios 
imbris et cetera naturae mala, ita luxum vel avari- 
tiam dominantium tolerate. Vitia erunt, donee 
homines, sed neque haec continua et meliorum inter- 
ventu pensantur: nisi forte Tutore et Classico 
regnantibus moderatius imperium speratis, aut 
minoribus quam nunc tributis parabuntur exercitus 
quibus Germani Britannique arceantur. Nam pulsis, 
quod di prohibeant, Romanis quid aliud quam bella 
omnium inter se gentium existent ? Octingentorum 
annorum fortuna disciplinaque compages haec coaluit, 
quae convelli sine exitio convellentium non potest : 
sed vobis maximum discrimen, penes quos aurum et 
opes, praecipuae, bellorum causae. Proinde pacem 
et urbem, quam victi victoresque eodem iure obtine- 
mus, amate oolite : moneant vos utriusque fortunae 
documenta ne contumaciam cum pernicie quam 
obsequium cum securitate malitis." Tali oratione 
graviora metuentis composuit erexitque. 

LXXV. Tenebantur victore exercitu Treviri, cum 
146 



BOOK IV. L.\AIV.-LXXV. 

impose on you the necessary costs of maintaining 
peace ; for you cannot secure tranquillity among 
nations without armies, nor maintain annies with- 
out pay, nor pro\-ide pay without taxes : everything 
else we have in conunon. You often command our 
legions ; you rule these and other pro\-inces ; we 
claim no privileges, you suffer no exclusion. You 
enjoy the advantage of the good emperors equally 
with us, although you dwell far from the capital: 
the cruel emperors assail those nearest them. ^ ou 
endure barren years, excessive rains, and all other 
natural evils ; in like manner endure the extrava- 
gance or greed of your rulers. There will be \-ices 
so long as there are men, but these vices are not 
perpetual and they are compensated for by the 
coming of better times : unless perchance you hope 
that you will enjoy a milder rule if Tutor and Clas- 
sicus reign over you, or that the taxes required to 
pro\'ide armies to keep out the Germans and Britons 
will be less than now. For, if the Romans are driven 
out — which Heaven forbid — what will follow except 
universal war among all peoples r The good fortune 
and order of eight hundred years have built up this 
mighty fabric which cannot be destroyed without 
overwhelming its destroyers : moreover, you are in 
the greatest danger, for you possess gold and wealth, 
which are the chief causes of war. Therefore love 
and cherish peace and the city wherein we, con- 
querors and conquered alike, enjoy an equal right : 
be warned by the lessons of fortune both good and 
bad not to prefer defiance and ruin to obedience and 
security." With such words Cerialis quieted and 
encouraged his hearers, who feared severer measures 
LXXV. The Treviri were now being held in sub- 

147 
1,2 



THE HISTORIES OF TAGITUS 

Civilis et Glassicus misere ad Cerialem epistulas, 
quarum haec sententia fuit: Vespasianum, quam- 
quam nuntios occultarent, excessisse vita, urbem 
atque Italiam interno bello consumptam, Muciani 
ac Domitiani vana et sine viribus nomina : si Cerialis 
imperium Galliarum velit, ipsos finibus civitatium 
suarum contentos ; si proelium malit,^ ne id quidem 
abnuere. Ad ea Cerialis Civili et Classico nihil : eum 
qui attulerat et ipsas ^ epistulas ad Domitianum misit. 

Hostes divisis copiis advenere undique. Plerique 
culpabant Cerialem passum iungi quos discretes 
intercipere licuisset. Romanus exercitus castra fossa 
valloque circumdedit, quis temere antea intutis 
consederat. 

LXXVI. Apud Germanos diversis sententiis certa- 
batur. Civilis opperiendas Transrhenanorum gentis, 
quarum terrore fractae populi Romani vires obtere- 
rentur : Gallos quid aliud quam praedam victoribus ? 
Et tamen, quod roboris sit, Belgas secum palam aut 
voto stare. Tutor cunctatione crescere rem Roma- 
nam adfirmabat, coeuntibus undique exercitibus : 
transveetam e Britannia legionem, accitas ex His- 
pania, adventare ex Italia; nee subitum militem, 
sed veterem expertumque belli. Nam Germanos, 

^ malit Ernesti : mallet M. 
^ et ipsas Euperti : ipsas M. 

148 



BOOK IV. Lxxv.-Lxxvi. 

mission by the victorious army when Civilis and 
Classicus 'WTOte to Cerialis to this effect : " Vespasian 
is dead, although the news of his death is held back ; 
Rome and Italy have been exhausted by internal 
wars ; the names of Mucianus and Domitian are 
empty and carry no weight : if you wish the empire 
of the Gauls, we are satisfied with the boundaries 
of our own states ; if you prefer to fight, we do not 
refuse you that alternative either." CeriaUs made 
no reply to Civilis and Classicus ; but he sent the 
messenger who had brought the letter and the letter 
itself to Domitian. 

The enemy, whose forces were divided, now 
approached from every quarter. Many blamed 
Cerialis for ha^^ng allowed this concentration of 
troops when he might have cut them off in detail. 
The Roman army constructed a ditch and palisade 
around their camp, which they had rashly occupied 
up to this time in spite of its unprotected condition. 

LXXVI. Among the Germans there was a clash 
of diverse opinions. Civilis urged that they should 
wait for the peoples from beyond the Rhine, who 
would so terrify the Romans that their strength 
would break and collapse. " As for the Gauls," 
said he, " what are they but booty for the victors ? 
And yet the Belgians, their only real strength, are 
openly on our side or wish our success." Tutor 
maintained that delay improved the condition of the 
Romans, for their armies were coming from every 
quarter. " One legion," he said, " has been brought 
from Britain ; others have been summoned from 
Spain, or are coming from Italy ; these are no hastily 
levied troops, but a veteran and seasoned army. 
The Germans, on whom we place our hopes, are 

149 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

qui ab ipsis sperentur, non iuberi, non regi, sed 
cuncta ex libidine agere; pecuniamque ac dona, 
quis solis corrumpantur, maiora apud Romanos, et 
neminem adeo in arma pronum ut non idem pretium 
quietis quam periculi malit. Quod si statim congre- 
diantur, nullas esse Ceriali nisi e reliquiis Germanici ^ 
exercitus legiones, foederibus Galliarum obstrictas. 
Idque ipsum quod inconditam nuper Valentini 
manum contra spem suam fuderint, alimentum illis 
ducique temeritatis : ausuros rursus venturosque in 
manus non imperiti adulescentuli,^ verba et contiones 
quam ferrum et arma meditantis, sed Civilis et 
Classici ; quos ubi aspexerint, redituram in animos 
formidinem, fugam famemque ac totiens captis pre- 
cariam vitam. Neque Treviros aut Lingonas benevo- 
lentia contineri: resumpturos arma, ubi metus 
abscesserit. Diremit consiliorum diversitatem adpro- 
bata Tutoris sententia Classicus, statimque exe- 
quuntur. 

LXXVII. Media acies Ubiis Lingonibusque data ; 
dextro cornu cohortes Batavorum, sinistro Bructeri 
Tencterique. Pars montibus, alii viam inter Mosel- 
lamque flumen tam improvisi^ adsiluere ut in cubi- 
culo ac lectulo Cerialis (neque enim noctem in castris 
egerat) pugnari simul vincique suos audierit, incre- 

^ reliquis germanicis M. 

^ inperitia d adulescentuli M. 

^ inprovisi Agricola: inprovisa M. 



BOOK IV. Lxxvi.-Lxxvir. 

never obedient to orders and directions, but always 
act according to their own caprice ; as for money and 
gifts, the only things by which they can be won, 
the Romans have more than we, and no man is so 
bent on war as not to prefer quiet to danger, if he 
get the same reward. WTiereas if we engage at 
once, Cerialis has no legions except those made up 
of the remnants of the army in Germany, and these 
have been bound by treaties to the Gallic states. 
As for the mere fact that, contrary to their own 
expectations, they lately routed the undisciphned 
force of Valentinus, that only feeds the rash spirit 
of troops and general alike : they will dare a second 
time and will fall into the hands not of an inexperi- 
enced youth, more concerned ^vith words and speeches 
than \\-ith steel and arms, but into the power of a 
Civilis and a Glassicus. When our enemies see these 
leaders, their souls will be once more possessed with 
terror and with the memories of their flight, hunger, 
and the many times that they have been captured 
when their lives were at our mercy. Nor are the 
Treviri or Lingones restrained by any affection : 
they will resume their arms as soon as their fright 
has left them." Glassicus ended these differences 
of opinion by approving Tutor's views, on which 
they at once acted. 

LXXVII. The centre of their Hne was assigned 
to the Ubii and Lingones ; on the right wing were 
the Batavian cohorts, on the left the Bructeri and 
the Tencteri. These rushed forward, some by the 
hills, others between the road and the Moselle, so 
rapidly that Cerialis was in his chamber and bed — 
for he had not passed the night in camp — when at 
the same moment he received the report that his 



THE HISTORIES OF TAGITUS 

pans pavorem nuntiantium, donee universa clades 
in oculis fuit : perrupta legionum castra, fusi equites, 
medius Mosellae pons, qui ulteriora coloniae adnectit, 
ab hostibus insessus. Cerialis turbidis rebus intre- 
pidus et fugientis manu retrahens, intecto corpore 
promptus inter tela, feliei temeritate et fortissimi 
cuiusque adcursu reciperatum pontem electa manu 
firmavit. Mox in castra reversus palantis captarum 
apud Novaesium Bonnamque legionum manipulos 
et rarum apud signa militem ac prope circumventas 
aquilas videt. Incensus ira " non Flaccum " inquit, 
" non Voculam deseritis : nulla hie proditio ; neque 
aliud excusandum habeo quam quod vos Gallici 
foederis oblitos redisse in ^ memoriam Romani sacra- 
menti temere credidi. Adnumerabor Numisiis et 
Herenniis, ut omnes legati vestri aut militum mani- 
bus aut hostium ceciderint. Ite, nuntiate Vespasiano 
vel, quod propius est, Civili et Classico, relictum a 
vobis in acie ducem : venient legiones quae neque 
me inultum neque vos impunitos patiantur." 

LXXVIII. Vera erant, et a tribunis praefectisque 
eadem ingerebantur. Consistunt per cohortis et 

^ redisse in Lifsius : praedizerim M, 



BOOK IV. Lxxvii.-Lxxviii. 

troops were engaged and were being beaten. He 
kept on abusing the messengers for their alarm until 
the whole disaster was before his eyes : the enemy 
had broken into the legions' camp, had routed the 
cavalry, and had occupied the middle of the bridge 
over the Moselle, which connects the remoter 
quarters with the colony. Undismayed in this 
crisis, Geriahs stopped the fugitives with his o-wn 
hand, and, although quite unprotected, exposed 
himself to the enemy's fire ; then by his good fortune 
and rash courage, aided by the bravest of his troops 
who rushed to his assistance, he recovered the bridge 
and held it with a picked force. Afterwards he 
returned to the camp, where he saw the companies 
of those legions that had been captured at Novaesium 
and Bonn wandering aimlessly about, with few 
soldiers supporting the standards, and the eagles 
almost surrounded by the enemy. Flaming with 
indignation he cried : " It is not Flaccus or \^bcula 
that you are now deserting : there is no treachery 
here ; nor have I need for excuse save that I rashly 
beheved that, forgetting yoijir pledge to the Gauls, 
you had remembered your oath of allegiance to 
Rome. I shall be numbered with the Numisii and 
Herennii, so that all your commanders may have 
perished by the hands of their soldiers or of the 
enemy. Go, report to Vespasian or, since they are 
nearer, to Ci\iHs and Classicus that you have aban- 
doned your general on the field of battle : yet there 
will come legions that will not suffer me to be un- 
avenged or you unpunished." 

LXXVIII. All this was true, and the same 
reproofs were heaped on them by the tribunes 
and the prefects. The troops drew up in cohorts 

^53 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

manipulos; neque enim poterat patescere acies 
efFuso hoste et impedientibus tentoriis sarcinisqiie, 
cum intra vallum pugnaretur. Tutor et Classicus 
et Civilis suis quisque locis pugnam ciebant, Gallos 
pro Ubertate, Batavos pro gloria, Germanos ad 
praedam instigantes. Et cuncta pro hostibus erant, 
donee legio unaetvicensima patentiore quam ceterae 
spatio conglobata sustinuit mentis, mox impulit. 
Nee sine ope divina mutatis repente animis terga 
victores vertere. Ipsi territos se cohortium aspectu 
ferebant, quae primo impetu disiectae summis rursus 
iugis congregabantur ac speciem novi auxiHi fecerant. 
Sed obstitit vincentibus pravum inter ipsos certamen 
omisso hoste spolia consectandi. Cerialis ut incuria 
prope rem adflixit, ita constantia restituit ; secutus- 
que fortunam castra hostium eodem die capit 
excinditque. 

LXXIX. Nee in longum quies militi data. Ora- 
bant auxilium Agrippinenses ofFerebantque uxorem 
ac sororem Civilis et filiam Classici, relicta sibi 
pignora societatis. Atque interim dispersos in domi- 
bus Germanos trucidaverant ; unde metus et iustae 
preces invocantium, antequam hostes reparatis viri- 

154 



BOOK IV. Lxxviii.-Lxxix- 

and maniples, for indeed they could not form an 
extended line since their foes were everywhere, and 
as the battle was being fought within their ramparts 
they were also hindered by their tents and baggage. 
Tutor and Classicus and Civilis, each at his post, 
spurred on their followers to battle, urging the 
Gauls to fight for liberty, the Bata\'ians for glory, 
and the Germans for booty. Everything favoured 
the enemy until the Twenty-first legion, having more 
room than the rest, concentrated its entire strength 
and so resisted the enemy's attack and presently 
drove him back. Yet it was not without divine aid 
that with a sudden change of spirit the victorious 
enemy took to flight. They said themselves that 
they were smitten with terror by the sight of those 
cohorts which, though dislodged by their first assault, 
formed affain on the ridges and seemed to them to 
be fresh reinforcements. But the fact is that the 
victorious barbarians were checked by a disgraceful 
struggle to secure booty which began among them 
so that they forgot their foes. Thus Cerialis, having 
almost ruined the situation by his carelessness, 
restored it by his resolution ; and, following up his 
success, he captured and destroyed the enemy's 
camp on that same day. 

LXXIX. The troops, however, were not allowed 
long repose. The people of Cologne begged for 
aid and offered to give up the wife and sister of 
CiviUs and the daughter of Classicus, who had been 
left as pledges of fidelity to the alhance. In the 
meantime they had killed the Germans who were 
scattered among their homes. This gave them 
cause to fear and made reasonable their appeals for 
help before the enemy recovered his strength and 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

bus ad spem vel ad ultionem accingerentur. Namque 
et Civilis illuc intenderat, non invalidus, flagrantis- 
sima cohortium suarum integra, quae e Chaucis ^ 
Frisiisque composita Tolbiaci in finibus Agrippinen- 
sium agebat: sed tristis nuntius avertit, deletam 
cohortem dolo Agrippinensium, qui largis epulis 
vinoque sopitos Germanos, elausis foribus, igne 
iniecto cremavere ; simul Cerialis propero agmine 
subvenit. Circumsteterat Civilem et alius metus, 
ne quarta decima legio adiuncta Britannica classe 
adflietaret Batavos, qua Oceano ambiuntur. Sed 
legionem terrestri itinere Fabius Priscus legatus in 
Nervios Tungrosque duxit, eaeque civitates in de- 
ditionem acceptae : classem ultro Canninefates 
adgressi sunt maiorque pars navium depressa aut 
capta. Et Nerviorum multitudinem, sponte com- 
motam ut pro Romanis bellum capesseret, idem 
Canninefates fudere. Classicus quoque adversus 
equites Novaesium a Ceriale praemissos secundum 
proelium fecit : quae modica sed crebra damna 
famam victoriae nuper partae lacerabant. 

LXXX. Isdem diebus Mucianus Vitellii filium 
interfici iubet, mansuram discordiam obtendens, ni ^ 
semina belli restinxisset. Neque Antonium Primum 
adsciri inter comites a^ Domitiano passus est, favore 

^ integra quae e Chaucis Pichena : integraque et e caucbis 
M. 

2 ne 31. ^ ad M. 

1 Ziilpich. 

^ The account of this revolt is resumed at v. 14. 

8 Of. ii. 59. 



BOOK IV. Lxxix.-Lxxx. 

armed for some new venture or for revenge. For in 
fact Civilis had marched in the direction of Cologne ; 
he was yet formidable since the most warlike of his 
cohorts was still unharmed, which, made up of 
Chauci and Frisii, was stationed at Tolbiacum ^ on 
the borders of the territory of the people of Cologne : 
he was, however, turned aside by the depressing 
news that this cohort had been destroyed bv a 
stratagem of the inhabitants of Cologne, who, after 
stupefying the Germans vrith an elaborate dinner 
and abundant wine, had closed the doors, set fire to 
the building, and burned them all; at the same 
moment Cerialis hurried up by forced marches. 
Ci\-iUs had been beset also by another fear : he was 
anxious lest the Fourteenth legion, supported by 
the fleet from Britain, might injure the Batavians 
along their coast. But Fabius Priscus, leading his 
legion inland, directed it against the Xervii and 
Tungri, and accepted the surrender of these two 
states : as for the fleet, it was actually attacked by 
the Canninefates and most of the ships were sunk 
or captured. The same Canninefates routed a great 
force of the Nervii who had voluntarily risen to fight 
for the Romans. Classicus also engaged success- 
fully with some cavalry which Cerialis had despatched 
to Xovaesium : and these reverses, though small, 
were frequent enough to injure the prestige of the 
Romans' recent victory .^ 

LXXX. During these same days Mucianus had 
VitelUus's son put to death,^ for he maintained that 
discord would continue if he did not destroy the 
seeds of war. Nor did he allow Domitian to in\-ite 
Antonius Primus to become a member of his suite, 
since he was disturbed by his popularity with the 

157 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

militum anxius et superbia viri aequalium quoque, 
adeo superiorum intolerantis. Profectus ad ^ Vespa- 
sianum Antonius ut non pro spe sua excipitur, ita 
neque averse ^ imperatoris animo. Trahebatur in 
diversa, hinc meritis Antonii, cuius ductu confectum 
baud dubie bellum erat, inde Muciani epistulis : 
simul ceteri ut infestum tumidumque insectabantur, 
adiunctis prioris vitae criminibus. Neque ipse deerat 
adrogantia vocare offensas, nimius commemorandis 
quae meruisset: alios ut imbellis, Caecinam ut 
captivum ac dediticium increpat. Unde paulatim 
levior viliorque haberi, manente tamen in speciem 
amicitia. 

LXXXI. Per eos mensis quibus Vespasianus 
Alexandriae statos aestivis flatibus dies et certa 
maris opperiebatur, multa miracula evenere, quis 
caelestis ^ favor et quaedam in Vespasianum inclinatio 
numinum ostenderetur. E plebe Alexandrina qui- 
dam oculorum tabe notus genua eius advolvitur, 
remediiun caecitatis exposcens gemitu, monitu Sera- 
pidis dei, quern dedita superstitionibus gens ante 
alios colit; precabaturque prineipem ut genas et 
oculorum orbis dignaretur respergere oris excre- 
mcnto. Alius manum aeger eodem deo auctore 
ut pede ac vestigio Caesaris calcaretur orabat. 
Vespasianus primo inridere, aspernari; atque illis 

* a M. ^ adverse M. 

' caelestis Rhenamis : cells e M. 



158 



1 Cf . ii. 86. « Vid. Ill, 13 f . 

' Such as he would have m June and July. 



BOOK IV, Lxxx.-Lxxxi. 

soldiers as well as by the haughty temper of a man 
who could not endure even his equals, to say nothing 
of his superiors. Antonius left Rome to join Ves- 
pasian, who received him, not as he had hoped, but 
yet with no unfriendly feeUngs. Vespasian was 
drawn in two directions : in one by the services of 
Antonius, under whose leadership the war had 
unquestionably been finished,^ in the other by letters 
of Mucianus ; while at the same time everyone else 
attacked Antonius, as hostile and swollen •with con- 
ceit, and brought charges against his former life. 
And Antonius himself did not fail to arouse hostihty 
by his arrogance and by dwelHng too constantly on 
his own achievements : he charged some >\ith 
cowardice and taunted Caecina with having been a 
captive and a voluntary prisoner.^ The result was 
that he was gradually regarded as of less weight and 
importance, although his friendship with Vespasian 
apparently remained the same, 

LXXXI, During the months while Vespasian was 
waiting at Alexandria for the regular season of the 
summer winds and a settled sea,' many marvels 
occurred to mark the favour of heaven and a certain 
partiaUty of the gods toward him. One of the 
common people of Alexandria, well knov.-n for his 
loss of sight, threw himself before Vespasian's knees, 
praying him •with groans to cure his blindness, being 
so directed by the god Serapis, whom this most 
superstitious of nations worships before all others ; 
and he besought the emperor to deign to moisten 
his cheeks and eyes with his spittle. Another, 
whose hand was useless, prompted by the same god, 
begged Caesar to step and trample on it. Vespasian 
at first ridiculed these appeals and treated them with 

159 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

instantibus modo famam vanitatis metuere, modo 
obsecratione ipsorum et vocibus adulantium in spem 
induci : postremo aestimari a medicis iubet an talis 
caecitas ac debilitas ope humana superabiles forent. 
Medici varie disserere : huic non exesam vim luminis 
et redituram si pellerentur obstantia ; illi elapsos 
in pravum artus, si salubris vis adhibeatur, posse 
integrari. Id fortasse cordi deis et divino ministerio 
principem electum ; denique patrati remedii gloriam 
penes Caesarem, inriti ludibrium penes miseros fore. 
Igitur Vespasianus cuncta fortunae suae patere ratus 
nee quicquam ultra incredibile, laeto ipse vultu, 
erecta quae adstabat multitudine, iussa exequitur. 
Statim conversa ad usum manus, ac caeco reluxit 
dies. Utrumque qui interfuere nunc quoque memo- 
rant, postquam nullum mendacio pretium. 

LXXXII. Altior inde Vespasiano cupido adeundi 
sacram sedem ut super rebus imperii consuleret: 
arceri templo cunctos iubet. Atque ingressus in- 
tentusque numini respexit pone tergum e primoribus 
Aegyptiorum nomine Basiliden, quem procul Alex- 
andria plurium dierum itinere et aegro corpore 



^ That is, " King's son." 
1 60 



BOOK IV. Lxxxi.-Lxxxii. 

scorn; then, when the men persisted, he began at 
one moment to fear the discredit of failure, at another 
to be inspired with hopes of success by the appeals 
of the suppUants and the flattery of his courtiers : 
finally, he directed the physicians to give their 
opinion as to whether such bhndness and infirmity 
could be overcome by human aid. Their reply 
treated the two cases differently : they said that in 
the first the power of sight had not been completely 
eaten away and it would return if the obstacles 
were removed ; in the other, the joints had slipped 
and become displaced, but they could be restored if 
a healing pressure were applied to them. Such 
perhaps was the wish of the gods, and it might be 
that the emperor had been chosen for this divine 
service ; in any case, if a cure were obtained, the 
glory would be Caesar's, but in the event of failure, 
ridicule would fall only on the poor suppliants. So 
Vespasian, believing that his good fortune was 
capable of anything and that nothing was any longer 
incredible, with a smiUng countenance, and amid 
intense excitement on the part of the bystanders, 
did as he was asked to do. The hand was instantly 
restored to use, and the day again shone for the 
bhnd man. Both facts are told by eye-witnesses 
even now when falsehood brings no reward. 

LXXXII. These events gave Vespasian a deeper 
desire to visit the sanctuary of the god to consult 
him with regard to his imperial fortune : he ordered 
all to be excluded from the temple. Then after he 
had entered the temple and was absorbed in con- 
templation of the god, he saw behind him one of 
the leading men of Egypt, named Basihdes,^ who 
he knew was detained by sickness in a place many 

i6i 

VOL. II. M 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

detineri haud ignorabat. Percontatur sacerdotes 
num illo die Basilides templum inisset, percontatur 
obvios num in urbe visus sit ; denique missis equitibus 
explorat illo temporis momento octoginta milibus 
passuum afuisse : tunc divinam speciem et vim 
responsi ex nomine Basilidis interpretatus est. 

LXXXIII. Origo dei nondum nostris auctoribus 
celebrata : Aegyptiorum antistites sic memorant, 
Ptolemaeo regi, qui Macedonum primus Aegypti 
opes firmavit, cum Alexandriae recens conditae 
moenia templaque et religiones adderet, oblatum 
per quietem decore eximio et maiore quam humana 
specie iuvenem, qui moneret ut fidissimis amicorum 
in Pontum missis effigiem suam acciret ; laetum id 
regno magnamque et inclutam sedem fore quae 
excepisset : simul visum eundem iuvenem in caelum 
igne plurimo attoUi. Ptolemaeus omine et miraculo 
excitus sacerdotibus Aegyptiorum, quibus mos talia 
intellegere, nocturnos visus aperit. Atque illis Ponti 
et externorum parum gnaris, Timotheum Athenien- 
sem e gente Eumolpidarum, quem ut antistitem 
caerimoniarum Eleusine^ exciverat, quaenam ilia 
superstitio, quod numen, interrogat. Timotheus 
quaesitis in Pontum meassent, cognoscit urbem illic 
Sinopen, nee procul templum vetere inter accolas 

^ Eleusine /. F. Gronovius ; eleusim M. 

1 Ptolemy Soter, 306-283 B.C. 

' In whose family the more important offices of the mysteries 
at Eleusis in Attica were hereditary. 

3 Lord of the Lower World. Cf . Clem. Alex. Protrep. iv. 48. 

162 



BOOK IV. Lxxxii.-Lxxxiii. 

days' journey distant from Alexandria. He asked 
the priests whether Basilides had entered the temple 
on that day ; he questioned the passers-by whether 
he had been seen in the city ; finally, he sent some 
cavah-y and found that at that moment he had been 
eighty miles away : then he concluded that this 
was a supernatural vision and drew a prophecy from 
the name Basilides. 

LXXXIII. The origin of this god has not yet 
been generally treated by our authors : the Egyptian 
priests tell the follo^\•ing storj-, that when King 
Ptolemy,^ the first of the Macedonians to put the 
power of Egj'pt on a firm foundation, was gi\ing the 
new city of Alexandria walls, temples, and religious 
rites, there appeared to him in his sleep a \ision of 
a young man of extraordinary beauty and of more 
than human statiu-e, who warned him to send his 
most faithful friends to Pontus and bring his statue 
hither; the vision said that this act would be a 
happy thing for the kingdom and that the city that 
received the god would be great and famous ; after 
these words the youth seemed to be carried to 
heaven in a blaze of fire. Ptolemy, moved by this 
miraculous omen, disclosed this nocturnal vision to 
the Egyptian priests, whose business it is to interpret 
such things. When they proved to know httle of 
Pontus and foreign countries, he questioned Timo- 
theus, an Athenian of the clan of the Eumolpidae,* 
whom he had called from Eleusis to preside over the 
sacred rites, and asked him what this rehgion was 
and what the di\*inity meant. Timotheus learned 
by questioning men who had travelled to Pontus 
that there was a, city there called Sinope, and that 
not far from it there was a temple of Jupiter Dis,* 

163 
h2 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

fama lovis Ditis : namque et muliebrem effigiem 
adsistere quam plerique Proserpinam vocent. Sed 
Ptolemaeus, ut sunt ingenia regum, pronus ad for- 
midinem, ubi securitas rediit, voluptatum quam 
religionum adpetens neglegere paulatim aliasque ad 
curas animum vertere, donee eademi species terri- 
bilior iam et instantior exitium ipsi regnoque 
denuntiaret ni iussa patrarentur.^ Turn legates et 
dona Scydrothemidi regi (is tunc Sinopensibus im- 
peritabat) expediri iubet praecipitque ^ navigaturis 
ut Pythicum Apollinem adeant. Illis mare secun- 
dum, sors oraculi baud ambigua; irent simulacrum- 
que patris sui reveherent, sororis relinquerent. 

LXXXIV. Ut Sinopen venere, munera preces 
mandata regis sui Scydrothemidi adlegant. qui 
diversus * animi modo numen pavescere, modo minis 
adversantis populi terreri; saepe donis promissisque 
legatorum flectebatur. Atque interim triennio exacto 
Ptolemaeus non studium, non preces emitter e : 
dignitatem legatorum, numerum navium, auri pondus 
augebat. Tum minax facies Scydrothemidi ofFertur 
ne destinata deo ultra moraretur : cunctantena varia 
pernicies morbique et manifesta caelestium ira 
graviorque in dies fatigabat. Advocata contione 

^ eaedem M. * paterentur M. 

^ praecepitque M. 

* divprsus Puteolantcs : versus M. 

^ Jupiter of the Lower World is not here distinguished 
from Jupiter of the Heavens, whose son Apollo was. Apollo's 
sister then is Proserpina. 

164 



BOOK IV. Lxxxiii.-Lxxxiv. 

long famous among the natives : for there sits beside 
the god a female figure which most call Proserpina. 
But Ptolemy, although prone to superstitious fears 
after the nature of kings, when he once more felt 
secure, being more eager for pleasures than reUgious 
rites, began gradually to neglect the matter and to 
turn his attention to other things, until the same 
vision, now more terrible and insistent, threatened 
ruin upon the king himself and his kingdom unless 
his orders were carried out. Then Ptolemy directed 
that ambassadors and gifts should be despatched to 
King Scydrothemis — he ruled over the people of 
Sinope at that time — and when the embassy was 
about to sail he instructed them to visit Pythian 
Apollo. The ambassadors found the sea favour- 
able ; and the answer of the oracle was not uncer- 
tain: Apollo bade them go on and bring back the 
image of his father, but leave that of his sister.^ 

LXXXIV. When the ambassadors reached Sinope, 
they dehvered the gifts, requests, and messages of 
their king to Scydrothemis. He was all uncertainty, 
now fearing the god and again being terrified by 
the threats and opposition of his people ; often he 
was tempted by the gifts and promises of the ambas- 
sadors. In the meantime three years passed during 
which Ptolemy did not lessen his zeal or his appeals : 
he increased the dignity of his ambassadors, the 
number of his ships, and the quantity of gold offered. 
Then a terrifying vision appeared to Scydrothemis, 
warning him not to hinder longer the purposes of 
the god : as he still hesitated, various disasters, 
diseases, and the evident anger of the gods, growing 
heavier from day to day, beset the king. He called 
an assembly of his people and made known to them 

16;; 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

iussa numinis, suos Ptolemaeique visus, ingruentia 
mala exponit : vulgus aversari ^ regem, invidere 
Aegypto, sibi metuere templumque circumsedere. 
Maior hinc fama tradidit deum ipsum adpulsas litori 
navis sponte conscendisse : mirum inde dictu, tertio 
die tantum maris emensi Alexandriam adpelluntur. 
Templum pro magnitudine urbis extructum loco cui 
nomen Rhacotis ; fuerat illic sacellum Serapidi atque 
Isidi antiquitus sacratum. Haec de origine et ad- 
vectu dei celeberrima. Nee sum ignarus esse qiios- 
dam qui Seleucia urbe Syriae accitum regnante 
Ptolemaeo, quem tertia aetas tulit; alii auctorem 
eundem Ptolemaeum, sedem, ex qua transient, 
Memphim perhibent, inclutam olim et veteris 
Aegypti columen. Deum ipsum multi Aesculapium, 
quod medeatur aegris corporibus, quidam Osirin, 
antiquissimum illis gentibus numen, plerique lovem 
ut rerum omnium potentem, plurimi Ditem patrem 
insignibus, quae ^ in ipso manifesta, aut per ambages 
coniectant. 

LXXXV. At Domitianus Mucianusque antequam 
Alpibus propinquarent, prosperos rerum in Treviris 
gestarum nuntios accepere. Praecipua victoriae fides 
dux hostium Valentinus nequaquam abiecto animo, 

1 aversari Muretus : adversari M. 

2 quae Puteolanus : queque M. 

1 Ptolemy Euergetes, 247-222 B.C. 

2 Tacitus seems to have drawn his account from Manetho, 
who apparently played an important part in the reorganiza- 
tion of the cult of Serapis-Osiris. Cf . Plutarch, De Iside 28. 

i66 



BOOK IV. Lxxxiv.-Lxxxv. 

the god's orders, the \isions that had appeared to 
him and to Ptolemy, and the misfortunes that were 
multiplying upon them : the people opposed their 
king; they were jealous of Egypt, afraid for them- 
selves, and so gathered about the temple of the god. 
At this point the tale becomes stranger, for tradi- 
tion says that the god himself, voluntarily embark- 
ing on the fleet that was lying on the shore, miracul- 
ously crossed the wide stretch of sea and reached 
Alexandria in two days. A temple, befitting the 
size of the city, was erected in the quarter called 
Rhacotis ; there had previously been on that spot 
an ancient shrine dedicated to Serapis and Isis. 
Such is the most popular account of the origin and 
arrival of the god. Yet I am not unaware that 
there are some who maintain that the god was 
brought from Seleucia in Syria in the reign of 
Ptolemy III ^ ; still others claim that the same 
Ptolemy introduced the god, but that the place 
from which he came was Memphis, once a famous 
city and the bulwark of ancient Egypt. Many 
regard the god himself as identical with Aesculapius, 
because he cures the sick; some as Osiris, the oldest 
god among these peoples; still more identify him 
with Jupiter as the supreme lord of all things'; the 
majority, however, arguing from the attributes of 
the god that are seen on his statute or from their 
own conjectures, hold him to be Father Dis.^ 

LXXXV. But before Domitian and Mucianus 
reached the Alps, they received news of the success 
among the Treviri. The chief proof of their \ictory 
was given by the presence of the enemy's leader, 
Valentinus, who, never losing courage, continued 
to show by his looks the same spirit that he had 

167 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

quos spiritus gessisset, vultu ferebat. Auditus ideo 
tantum ut nosceretur ingenium eius, damnatusque 
inter ipsum supplicium exprobranti cuidam patriam 
eius captain accipere se solacium mortis respondit. Sed 
Mucianus quod diu occultaverat, ut recens expromp- 
sit : quoniam benignitate deum fractae hostium vires 
forent, parum decore Domitianum confeeto prope 
bello alienae gloriae interventurum. Si status imperii 
aut salus Galliarum in discrimine verteretur, debuisse 
Caesarem in acie stare, Canninefatis Batavosque 
minoribus ducibus delegandos : ipse Luguduni vim 
fortunamque principatus e proximo ostentaret,! nee 
parvis periculis immixtus et maioribus non defuturus. 
LXXXVI. Intellegebantur artes, sed pars obsequii 
in eo ne deprehenderentur : ita Lugudunum ventum. 
Unde creditur Domitianus occultis ad Cerialem 
nuntiis fidem eius temptavisse an praesenti sibi 
exercitum imperiumque traditurus foret. Qua cogi- 
tatione bellum adversus patrem agitaverit an opes 
virisque adversus fratrem, in incerto fuit ; nam 
Cerialis salubri temperamento elusit ut vana pueriliter 
cupientem. Domitianus sperni a senioribus iuventam 

^ ostentaret Rhenanus : ostentare M. 



* Domitian was now playing the part of a very modest 
"obsequious" youth. 

i68 



BOOK IV. Lxxxv.-Lxxxvi. 

always maintained. He was given an opportimity 
to speak, but solely that his questioners might judge 
of his nature ; and he was condemned. WTiile being 
executed, someone taunted him with the fact that 
his native country had been subdued, to which he 
rephed that he found therein consolation for his 
own death. Mucianus now brought forward a pro- 
posal, as if he had just thought of it, but which in 
reality he had long concealed. He urged that since, 
thanks to the gods' kindness, the enemy's strength 
has been broken, it would little become Domitian, 
now that the war is almost over, to interfere in the 
glory of others. If the stabiHty of the empire or 
the safety of Gaul were imperilled, then Caesar 
ought to take his place in the battle-hne ; but the 
Canninefates and the Batavi he should assign to 
inferior commanders. " You should," he added, 
" personally display the power and majesty of the 
imperial throne from close quarters at Lyons, not 
mixing yourself up with trifling risks, but ready to 
deal with graver ones." 

LXXXVI. His artifice was understood, but 
Domitian 's obsequious role required that he should 
let it pass unnoticed : thus they came to Lyons. 
Men beheve that from this city Domitian sent 
secret messages to Cerialis and tempted his loyalty 
by asking whether, if he came in person, Cerialis 
would turn over the command of his army to him. 
Whether in this plan Domitian was thinking of war 
against his father or whether he wished to get 
control of resources and troops in order to oppose 
his brother was uncertain ; for Cerialis wisely 
temporized and avoided the request, treating it as 
a boy's foolish wish. When Domitian realized that 

169 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

suam cernens modica quoque et usurpata antea 
munia imperii omittebat, simplicitatis ac modestiae 
imagine in altitudinem conditus studiumque littera- 
rum et amorem carminum simulans, quo velaret 
animum et fratris se ^ aemulationi subdueeret, cuius 
disparem mitioremque naturam contra interpreta- 
batur.2 

^ se add. Halm. 

^ post interpretabatur add. in M neque vos inpunitos 
patiantur, quae falso ex c. LXXVII ex. repetita sunt. 



170 



BOOK IV. Lxxxvi. 

his youth was treated contemptuously by his elders, 
he abandoned the exercise of all imperial duties, 
even those of a trifling character and duties which 
he had exercised before ; then, under the cloak of 
simphcity and moderation, he gave himself up to 
profound dissimulation, pretending a devotion to 
literature and a love of poetry to conceal his real 
character and to withdravr before the rivalry of his 
brother, on whose milder nature, wholly unlike his 
own, he put a bad construction. 



171 



BOOK V 



LIBER V 

I. EiusDEM anni principio Caesar Titus, perdo- 
mandae ludaeae delectus a patre et privatis^ utrius- 
que rebus militia clarus, maiore turn vi famaque 
agebat, certantibus provinciarum et exereituum 
studiis. Atque ipse, ut super fortunam^ crederetur, 
decorum se promptumque in armis ostendebat, 
comitate et adloquiis officia provocans ac plerumque 
in opere, in agmine gregario militi mixtus, incorrupto 
ducis honore. Tres eum in ludaea legiones, quinta 
et decima et quinta decima, vetus Vespasiani miles, 
excepere. Addidit e Syria duodecimam et adductos 
Alexandria duoetvicensimanos tertianosque ; comi- 
tabantur viginti sociae cohortes, octo equitum alae, 
simul Agrippa Sohaemusque reges et auxilia regis 
Antiochi validaque et solito inter accolas odio in- 
fensa ludaeis Arabum manus, multi quos urbe atque 
Italia sua quemque spes acciverat occupandi princi- 
pem adhuc vacuum. His cum copiis finis hostium 

^ privatis Rhenanus : platis M. 

^ super fortunam Lipsius : superior! unam 31. 

1 70 A.D. 

2 Cf. ii. 4; iv. 51. 

^ Agrippa was prince of Trachonitis and Galilee ; Sohaemus, 
king of Sophene and prince of Emesa in Syria ; while Antiochus 
was king of Commagene and of a part of Cilicia. Cf. ii. 81. 

174 



BOOK V 

I. At the beginning of this same year ^ Titus 
Caesar, who had been selected by his father to com- 
plete the subjugation of Judea,^ and who had aheady 
won distinction as a soldier while both were still 
private citizens, began to enjoy greater power and 
reputation, for provinces and armies now vied with 
one another in enthusiasm for him. Moreover, in 
his own conduct, wishing to be thought greater than 
his fortune, he always showed himself dignified and 
energetic in the field ; by his affable address he called 
forth devotion, and he often mingled with the common 
soldiers both at work or on the march without im- 
pairing his position as general. He found awaiting 
him in Judea three legions, Vespasian's old troops, 
the Fifth, the Tenth, and the Fifteenth. He rein- 
forced these with the Twelfth from Syria and with 
some soldiers from the Twenty-second and the Third 
which he brought from Alexandria ; these troops 
were accompanied by twenty cohorts of allied 
infantry, eight squadrons of cavalry, as well as by the 
princes Agrippa and Sohaemus, the auxiliaries sent 
by King Antiochus,^ and by a strong contingent of 
Arabs, who hated the Jews with all that hatred that 
is common among neighbours ; there were besides 
many Romans who had been prompted to leave the 
capital and Italy by the hope that each entertained 
of securing the prince's favour while he was yet free 
from engagements. With these forces Titus entered 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

ingressus composito agmine, cuncta explorans 
paratusque decernere, haud procul Hierosolymis 
castra facit. 

II. Sed quoniam famosae urbis supremum diem 
tradituri sumus, congruens videtur primordia eius 
aperire. 

ludaeos Creta insula profugos novissima Libyae 
insedisse memorant, qua tempestate Saturnus vi 
lovis pulsus cesserit regnis. Argumentum e nomine 
petitur : inclutum in Creta Idam montem, accolas 
Idaeos ^ aucto in barbarum cognomento ludaeos 
vocitari. Quidam regnante Iside exundantem per 
Aegyptum multitudinem ducibus Hierosolymo ac 
luda proximas in terras exoneratam ; plerique 
Aethiopum prolem, quos rege Cepheo metus atque 
odium mutare sedis perpulerit. Sunt qui tradant 
Assyrios convenas, indigumi agrorum populum, parte 
Aegypti potitos, mox proprias urbis Hebraeasque 
terras et propiora Syriae coluisse. Clara alii ludae- 
orum initia, Solymos, carminibus Homeri celebratam 
gentem, eonditae urbi Hierosolyma nomen e suo 
fecisse. 

III. Plurimi auctores consentiunt orta per Aegyp- 
tum tabe quae corpora foedaret, regem Bocchorim 
adito Hammonis oraculo remedium petentem pur- 

^ Indeos M. 

^ Tacitus in this brief and somewhat confused account of 
the Jews apparently followed the Alexandrian historians, 
Chaeremon and Lysimachus. 

« II. vi. 184; Orf. V. 282. 

• King Bocchoris reigned in the eighth century B.C., whereas 
the exodus seems to have taken place about five centuries 
earher. But the account of the exodus as given in the Old 
Testament requires much revision in the light of modem his- 
torical scholarship. Yid. Cambridge Ancient History, II, 352 ff . 

176 



BOOK V. i.-iii. 

the enemy's land: his troops advanced in strict 
order, he reconnoitred at every step and was always 
ready for battle ; not far from Jerusalem he pitched 
camp. 

II. However, as I am about to describe the last 
days of a famous city, it seems proper for me to give 
some account of its origin.^ 

It is said that the Jews were originally exiles from 
the island of Crete who settled in the farthest parts 
of Libya at the time when Saturn had been deposed 
and expelled by Jove. An argument in favour of 
this is derived from the name : there is a famous 
mountain in Crete called Ida, and hence the in- 
habitants were called the Idaei, which was later 
lengthened into the barbarous form ludaei. Some 
hold that in the reign of Isis the superfluous popula- 
tion of Egypt, under the leadership of Hierosolymus 
and luda, discharged itself on the neighbouring 
lands ; many others think that they were an Egyptian 
stock, which in the reign of Cepheus was forced to 
migrate by fear and hatred. Still others report that 
they were Assyrian refugees, a landless people, 
who first got control of a part of Egypt, then later 
they had their own cities and hved in the Hebrew 
territory' and the nearer parts of Syria. Still others 
say that the Jews are of illustrious origin, being the 
Solymi, a people celebrated in Homer's poems,^ 
who founded a city and gave it the name Hiero- 
solyma, formed from their own. 

III. Most authors agree that once during a plague 
in Eg}^t which caused bodily disfigurement, King 
Bocchoris ^ approached the oracle of Ammon * and 

* The famous Egyptian oracle in the oasis 8iwah, in the 
Libyan desert. 

177 
VOL. II. N 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

gare regnum et id genus hominum ut invisum deis 
alias in terras avehere iussum. Sic conquisitum 
collectumque vulgus, postquam vastis locis relictum 
sit, ceteris per lacrimas torpentibus, Moysen unum 
exulum monuisse ne quam deorum hominumve opem 
expectarent utrisque deserti, sed^ sibimet duce 
caelesti crederent, primo cuius auxilio praesentis^ 
miserias pepulissent. Adsensere atque omnium 
ignari fortuitum iter incipiunt. Sed nihil aeque 
quam inopia aquae fatigabat, iamque baud procul 
exitio totis campis procubuerant, cum grex asinorum 
agrestium e pastu in rupem nemore opacam concessit. 
Secutus Moyses coniectura herbidi soli largas aquarum 
venas aperit. Id levamen ; et continuum sex dierum 
iter emensi septimo pulsis cultoribus obtinuere terras, 
in quis urbs et templum dicata. 

IV. Moyses quo sibi in posterum gentem firmaret, 
novos ritus contrariosque ceteris mortalibus indidit. 
Profana illic omnia quae apud nos sacra, rursum 
concessa apud illos quae nobis incesta. Effigiem 
animalis, quo monstrante errorem sitimque depul- 
erant, penetrali sacravere, caeso ariete velut in 
contumeliam Hammonis ; bos quoque immolatur, 
quoniam^ Aegyptii Apin colunt. Sue abstinent 

^ sed dett., Orosins: et M. 

* praesentes Orosius : credentes psentes M. 

' quoniam Orellius: q M. 

^ Cf. the story in Gemesis with this fantastic account, •which 
Tacitus took chiefly from Lysimachus. 

2 That is, an ass. The same charge of worshipping an ass 
was frequently made against the Christians later. 

^ The Egyptian god was represented in art with a ram's 
horns. 

178 



BOOK V, iii.-iv. 

asked for a remedy, whereupon he was told to purge 
his kingdom and to transport this race into other 
lands, since it was hateful to the gods. So the 
Hebrews were searched out and gathered together ; 
then, being abandoned in the desert, while all others 
lay idle and weeping, one only of the exiles, Moses 
by name, warned them not to hope for help from 
gods or men, for they were deserted by both, but to 
trust to themselves, regarding as a guide sent from 
heaven the one whose assistance should first give 
them escape from their present distress. They 
agreed, and then set out on their journey in utter 
ignorance, but trusting to chance. Nothing caused 
them so much distress as scarcity of water, and in 
fact they had already fallen exhausted over the 
plain nigh unto death, when a herd of wild asses 
moved from their pasturage to a rock that was shaded 
by a grove of trees. Moses followed them, and, 
conjecturing the truth from the grassy ground, 
discovered abundant streams of water. This re- 
lieved them, and they then marched six days con- 
tinuously, and on the seventh seized a country, 
expelhng the former inhabitants ; there they founded 
a city and dedicated a temple.^ 

IV. To estabhsh his influence over this people for 
all time, Moses introduced new religious practices, 
quite opposed to those of all other rehgions. The 
Jews regard as profane all that we hold sacred ; on 
the other hand, they permit all that we abhor. 
They dedicated, in a shrine, a statue of that creature 
whose guidance enabled them to put an end to their 
wandering and thirst,^ sacrificing a ram, apparently 
in derision of Ammon.^ They hke'W'ise offer the ox, 
because the Egyptians worship Apis. They abstain 

179 
n2 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

memoria cladis, quod ipsos scabies quondam tur- 
paverat, cui id animal obnoxium. Longam olim 
famem crebris adhuc ieiuniis fatentur, et raptarum 
frugum argumentum panis ludaicus nuUo fermento 
detinetur. Septimo die otium placuisse ferunt, quia 
is finem laborum tulerit; dein blandiente inertia 
septimum quoque annum ignaviae datum. Alii 
honorem eum Saturno haberi, seu prineipia religionis 
tradentibus Idaeis,^ quos cum Saturno pulsos et 
conditores gentis accepimus, seu quod de septem 
sideribus, quis mortales reguntur, altissimo orbe 
et praecipua potentia stella Saturni feratur, ac 
pleraque caelestium viam ^ suam et cursus septenos ^ 
per numeros commeent.* 

V. Hi ^ ritus quoquo modo inducti antiquitate 
defenduntur: cetera instituta, sinistra foeda, pra- 
vitate valuere. Nam pessimus quisque spretis 
religionibus patriis tributa et stipes illuc congerebant,^ 
unde auctae ludaeorum res, et quia apud ipsos fides 
obstinata, misericordia in promptu, sed adversus 

^ Idaeis Lifsius : iudaeis M. 

^ viam Bezzenberger : vim 31. 

^ septenos Halm: septimos M. 

* commeent Wolfflin : commearent M. 

^ hi ed. Sfiretisis : is M. 

® congerebant Puteolanus : gerebant M. 

1 Cf. Exod. xii. 15-20, 34-39. 

* Cf. Deut. V. 15; Levit. xxv. 4. 

' The seventh day being Saturn's day. 

* Cf. Dio Cass, xxsvii. 18 f . 

i8o 



BOOK V. iv.-v. 

from pork, in recollection of a plague, for the scab 
to which this animal is subject once afllicted them. 
By frequent fasts even now they bear witness to 
the long hunger A^-ith which they were once dis- 
tressed, and the unleavened Jewish bread is still 
employed in memory of the haste with which they 
seized the grain.^ They say that they first chose 
to rest on the seventh day because that day ended 
their toils; but after a time they were led by 
the charms of indolence to give over the seventh 
year as well to inacti%*ity.2 Others say that this 
is done in honour of Saturn,^ whether it be that 
the primitive elements of their religion were given 
by the Idaeans, who, according to tradition, were 
expelled with Saturn and became the founders of 
the Jewish race, or is due to the fact that, of J:he 
seven planets that rule the fortunes of mankind, 
Saturn moves in the highest orbit and has the 
greatest potency ; and that many of the heavenly 
bodies traverse their paths and courses in multiples 
of seven.* 

V. Whatever their origin, these rites are main- 
tained bv their antiquity : the other customs of the 
Jews are base and abominable, and owe their per- 
sistence to their depra\ity. For the worst rascals 
among other peoples,^ renouncing their ancestral 
religions, always kept sending tribute and contri- 
butions to Jerusalem, thereby increasing the wealth 
of the Jews ; again, the Jews are extremely loyal 
toward one another, and always ready to show 
r">mpassion, but toward every other people they 

* The proselytes, whose contribations were important. 
The tribute amounted to two drachmae a head each year, 
according to Josephus, Bell. lud. vil. 218 (Niese). 

i8i 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

omnis alios hostile odium. Separati epulis, discreti 
cubilibus, proiectissima ad libidinem gens, alienarum 
concubitu abstinent; inter se nihil inlicitum. Cir- 
cumcidere genitalia instituerunt ut diversitate nos- 
cantur. Transgressi in morem eorum idem usurpant, 
nee quicquam prius imbuuntur quam contemnere 
deos, exuere patriam, parentes liberos fratres vilia 
habere. Augendae tamen multitudini consulitur; 
nam et necare quemquam ex agnatis nefas, animosque 
proelio aut suppliciis peremptorum aeternos putant : 
hinc generandi amor et moriendi contemptus. 
Corpora condere quam cremare e more Aegyptio, 
eademque cura et de infernis persuasio, caelestium 
contra. Aegyptii pleraque animalia effigiesque com- 
positas venerantur, ludaei mente sola unumque 
numen intellegunt : profanos qui deum imagines 
mortalibus materiis in species hominum effingant; 
summum illud et aeternum neque imitabile neque 
interiturum. Igitur nulla simulacra urbibus suis, 
nediim templis sistunt ^ ; non regibus haec adulatio, 
non Caesaribus honor. Sed quia sacerdotes eorum 
tibia tympanisque concinebant, hedera vinciebantur 
vitisque aurea in templo^ reperta, Liberum pattern 

^ sistunt Doderlein : sunt M. 
2 in templo Ritier : templo M. 

^ The word here used, " agnatus," means a child bom after 
the father had made his will, or one that was not desired. 
Cf. Germ. 19. 

182 



g nr BOOK V. V. 

feel only hate and enmity. They sit apart at meals, 
and they sleep apart, and although as a race, they 
are prone to lust, they abstain from intercourse with 
foreign women ; yet among themselves nothing is 
unlawful. They adopted circumcision to distinguish 
themselves from other peoples by this diiference. 
Those who are converted to their ways follow the 
same practice, and the earhest lesson they receive 
is to despise the gods, to disown their country, and 
to regard their parents, children, and brothers as 
of Uttle account. However, they take thought to 
increase their numbers ; for they regard it as a crime 
to kill any late-born child,^ and they beheve that the 
souls of those who are killed in battle or by the exe- 
cutioner are immortal : hence comes their passion 
for begetting children, and their scorn of death. 
They bury the body rather than bum it, thus follow- 
ing the Egj'ptians' custom; they Hkewise bestow 
the same care on the dead, and hold the same behef 
about the world below ; but their ideas of heavenly 
things are quite the opposite. The Egyptians 
worship many animals and monstrous images ; the 
Jews conceive of one god only, and that with the 
mind alone : they regard as impious those who make 
from perishable materials representations of gods in 
man's image ; that supreme and eternal being is 
to them incapable of representation and -without 
end. Therefore they set up no statues in their 
cities, still less in their temples ; this flattery is not 
paid their kings, nor this honour given to the Caesars. 
But since their priests used to chant to the accom- 
paniment of pipes and cymbals and to wear garlands 
of ivy, and because a golden vine was found in their 
temple, some have thought that they were devotees 

183 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

coli, domitorem Orientis, quidam arbitrati sunt, 
nequaquam congruentibus institutis. Quippe Liber 
festos laetosque ritus posuit, ludaeorum mos absurdus 
sordidusque. 

VI. Terra finesque qua ad Orientem vergunt 
Arabia terminantur, a meridie Aegyptus obiacet, ab 
occasu Phoenices et mare, septentrionem e latere 
Syriae longe prospectant. Corpora hominum salu- 
bria et ferentia laborum. Rari imbres, uber solum: 
[exuberant] ^ fruges nostrum ad morem praeterque 
eas balsamum et palmae. Palmetis proceritas et 
decor, balsamum modica arbor: ut quisque ramus 
intumuit, si \im ferri adhibeas, pavent venae ; 
fragmine lapidis aut testa aperiuntur; mnor in usu 
medentium est. Praecipuum montium Libanum 
erigit, mirum dictu, tantos inter ardores opacum 
fidumque nivibus ; idem amnem lordanen alit 
funditque. Nee lordanes pelago accipitur, sed 
unum atque alterum lacum integer perfluit, tertio 
retinetur. Lacus immenso ambitu, specie maris, 
sapore corruptior, gravitate odoris accolis pestifer, 
neque vento impellitur neque piscis aut suetas 
aquis volucris patitur. Inertes undae superiacta ut 
solido ferunt; periti imperitique nandi perinde 
attoUuntur. Certo anni bitumen egerit, cuius 
legendi usum, ut ceteras artis, experientia docuit. 

^ exuberant seel. Lipsius. 



^ Looking from Ijebanon, over Coele-Syria. . t 

* Famed for its medicinal qualities and fragrance. Strabo' 
xvi. 763; Pliny xii. 111. 

* The source of the Jordan is on Mt. Hermon, which Tacitus 
apparently identifies with Lebanon. 



BOOK V. v.-vi. 

of Father Liber, the conqueror of the East, in spite 
of the incongruity of their customs. For Liber 
established festive rites of a joyous nature, while the 
ways of the Jews are preposterous and mean. 

VL Their land is bounded by Arabia on the east, 
Egypt lies on the south, on the west are Phoenicia and 
the sea, and toward the north the people enjoy a wide 
prospect over Syria.^ The inhabitants are healthy 
and hardy. Rains are rare ; the soil is fertile : its 
products are like ours, save that the balsam and the 
palm also grow there. The pahn is a tall and hand- 
some tree ; the balsam ^ a mere shrub : if a branch, 
when swollen with sap, is pierced with steel, the veins 
shrivel up ; so a piece of stone or a potsherd is used 
to open them ; the juice is employed by physicians. 
Of the mountains, Lebanon rises to the greatest 
height, and is in fact a marvel, for in the midst of the 
excessive heat its summit is shaded by trees and 
covered with snow; it Ukewise is the source and 
supply of the river Jordan.^ This river does not 
empty into the sea, but after flowing -svith volume 
undiminished through two lakes is lost in the third. ^ 
The last is a lake of great size : it is hke the sea, but 
its water has a nauseous taste, and its offensive 
odour is injurious to those who live near it. Its 
waters are not moved by the wind, and neither fish 
nor water-fowl can live there. Its lifeless waves 
bear up whatever is throwTi upon them as on a solid 
surface ; all swimmers, whether skilled or not, are 
buoyed up by them. At a certain season of the 
year the sea throws up bitumen, and experience has 
taught the natives how to collect this, as she teaches 

* The marshy Lake Merom, then Geiinesareth, and finally 
the Dead Sea. 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

Ater suapte natura liquor et sparse aceto concretus 
innatat; hunc manu captum, quibus ea cura, in 
summa navis trahunt: inde nuUo iuvante influit 
oneratque, donee abseindas. Nee abscindere aere 
ferrove possis : fugit eruorem vestemque infectam 
sanguine, quo feminae per mensis exolvuntur. Sic 
veteres auctores, sed gnari locorum tradunt undantis 
bitumine moles pelli manuque trahi ad litus, mox, 
ubi vapore terrae, vi solis inaruerint, seeuribus 
cuneisque ut trabes aut saxa discindi. 

VII. Haud^ procul inde campi quos ferunt olim 
uberes magnisque urbibus habitatos fulminum iactu 
arsisse ; et^ manere vestigia, terramque ipsam, specie 
torridam,^ vim frugiferam perdidisse. Nam cuncta 
sponte edita aut manu sata, sive herba tenus aut 
flore * seu solitam in speciem adolevere, atra et inania 
velut in cinerem vanescunt. Ego sicut inclitas^ 
quondam urbis igne caelesti flagrasse concesserim, ita 
halitu lacus infici terram, corrumpi superfusum 
spiritum, eoque fetus segetum et autumni putrescere 
reor,^ solo caeloque iuxta gravi. At ' Belus ^ amnis 

^ Haud . . . perdidisse et ego . . . reor citat Orosius I. 5. 
* sed Orosius. 

^ torrida M : solidam Orosius. 
herba tenus aut flore Bhenanus : herbas tenues aut flores 



M. 



inclutas codd. dett., Orosius: Indicas M. 

* terram et corrumpi reor Orosius. 
' at Bitter : et M. 

* Belus Bhenanus : bel lus M. 



1 86 



BOOK V. vi.-vii. 

all arts. Bitumen is by nature a dark fluid which 
coagulates when sprinkled with vinegar, and swims 
on the surface. Those whose business it is, catch 
hold of it with their hands and haul it on shipboard : 
then with no artificial aid the bitumen flows in and 
loads the ship until the stream is cut off". Yet you 
cannot use bronze or iron to cut the bitmninous 
stream ; it shrinks from blood or from a cloth stained 
with a woman's menses. Such is the story told by 
ancient wTiters, but those who are acquainted with 
the country aver that the floating masses of bitumen 
are driven by the winds or drawn by hand to shore, 
where later, after they have been dried by vapours 
from the earth or by the heat of the sun, they are 
split like timber or stone with axes and wedges. 

VII. Not far from this lake is a plain which, 
according to report, was once fertile and the site of 
great cities, but which was later devastated by 
lightning ; and it is said that traces of this disaster 
still exist there, and that the very ground looks 
burnt and has lost its fertiHty. In fact, all the plants 
there, whether wild or cultivated, turn black, become 
sterile, and seem to ^vither into dust, either in leaf 
or in flower or after they have reached their usual 
mature form. Now for my part, although I should 
grant that famous cities were once destroyed by fire 
from heaven, I still think that it is the exhalations 
from the lake that infect the ground and poison the 
atmosphere about this district, and that this is the 
reason that crops and fruits decay, since both soil 
and climate are deleterious.^ The river Belus also 

^ With this description compare that of Josephus, Bell. 
Jud. iv. 8, 4; Strabo xvi. 763 f.; and Pliny, N.H. v. 71 f., 
vii. 65. 

187 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

ludaico mari inlabitur, circa cuius os lectae harenae 
admixto nitro ^ in vitrum excoquuntur. Modicum id 
litus et egerentibus inexhaustum. 

VIII. Magna pars ludaeae vicis dispergitur, 
habent et oppida; Hierosolyma genti caput. Illic 
immensae opulentiae templum, et primis muni- 
mentis urbs, dein regia,^ templum intimis clausum. 
Ad fores tantum ludaeo aditus, limine praeter 
sacerdotes arcebantur. Dum Assyrios penes Medos- 
que et Persas^ Oriens fuit, despectissima pars ser- 
vientium : postquam Macedones praepolluere,* rex 
Antipchus demere superstitionem et mores Grae- 
corum dare adnisus, quo minus taeterrimam gentem 
in melius mutaret, Parthorum bello prohibitus est ; 
nam ea tempestate Arsaces desciverat. Tum ludaei 
Macedonibus invalidis, Parthis nondum adultis (et 
Romani procul erant), sibi ipsi reges imposuere ; qui 
mobilitate vulgi expulsi,^ resumpta per arma domina- 
tione fugas civium, urbium eversiones, fratrum 
coniugum parentum neces aliaque solita regibus ausi 

^ vitro in rasura M. ^ dein regia Mercerus : de Ingia M. 
' persaxas M.' * praepoUuere Halm : praepotuere M. 
^ volgis epuisi M. 

1 Cf. Pliny, N.H. xxxvi. 190 S. The river Belus (Naaman), 
which rises in the highlands of Gahlee and empties in the 
Mediterranean near St. Jean d'Acre, really belongs to Phoe- 
nicia. 

* It wiU be observed that Tacitus is writing after the 
destruction of the temple. 

^ Tacitus is somewhat inexact here, for the walls were not 
concentric. 

* The Seleucid dynasty is meant. 

* It was under Antiochus II (260-245 b.c.) that Arsaces 
revolted ; but Tacitus may be confusing the revolt of Arsaces 
with the Maccabean war of 167-164 b.c. 



BOOK V. vii.-viii. 

empties into the Jewish Sea ; around its mouth a 
kind of sand is gathered, which when mixed %\-ith 
soda is fused into glass. The beach is of moderate 
size, but it furnishes an inexhaustible supply. ^ 

VIII. A great part of Judea is covered with 
scattered villages, but there are some towns also; 
Jerusalem is the capital of the Jews. Iif it was a 
temple possessing enormous riches.^ The first line 
of fortifications protected the city, the next the 
palace, and the innermost wall the temple.^ Only a 
Jew might approach its doors, and all save the priests 
were forbidden to cross the threshold. While the 
East was under the dominion of the Assyrians, 
Medes, and Persians, the Jews were regarded as the 
meanest of their subjects : but after the Macedonians 
gained supremacy,* King Antiochus endeavoured to 
abolish Jewish superstition and to introduce Greek 
civilization : the war with the Parthians, however, 
prevented his improving this basest of peoples ; for it 
was exactly at that time that Arsaces had revolted.^ 
Later on, since the power of Macedon had waned, 
the Parthians were not yet come to their strength, 
and the Romans were far away, the Jews selected 
their own kings.^ These in turn were expelled 
by the fickle mob ; but recovering their throne by 
force of arms,' they banished citizens, destroyed 
towns, killed brothers, wives, and parents, and dared 
essay every other kind of royal crime without 
hesitation; but they fostered the national super- 

• The Hasmonean line. 

' This may refer to the war between King Alexander and 
the Pharisees that began in 92 B.C. and lasted for six years; 
or to the struggle for the throne that followed on the death of 
Alexander's widow, Salome, in 70 B.C. 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

superstitionem fovebant, quia honor sacerdotii 
firmamentum potentiae adsumebatur. 

IX. Romanorum primus Cn. Pompeius ludaeos 
domuit templumque iure victoriae ingressus est : 
inde vulgatum nulla intus deum effigie vacuam sedem 
et inani* arcana. Muri Hierosolymorum diruti, 
delubrum mansit. Mox civili inter nos ^ bello, 
postquam in dicionem M. Antonii provinciae ces- 
serant, rex Parthorum Pacorus ludaea potitus inter- 
fectusque a P. Ventidio, et Parthi trans Euphraten 
redacti: ludaeos G. Sosius subegit. Regnum ab 
Antonio Herodi datum victor Augustus auxit. Post 
mortem Herodis, nihil expectato Caesare, Simo 
quidam regium nomen invaserat. Is a Quintilio 
Varo obtinente Syriam punitus, et gentem coercitam 
liberi Herodis tripertito rexere. Sub Tiberio quies. 
Dein iussi a G. Gaesare effigiem eius in templo locare 
arma potius sumpsere, quern motum Gaesaris mors 
diremit. Glaudius, defunctis regibus aut ad modi- 
cum redactis, ludaeam provinciam equitibus Romanis 
aut libertis permisit, e quibus Antonius Felix per 

^ inter nos Agricola : Interno M. 



1 In 63 B.C. 

* Pacorus advanced on Judea in 40 b.c, but two years later 
he was killed. 

^ Both Ventidius and Sosius were lieutenants of Antony. 
Aided by Sosius, Herod defeated the last of the Maccabees in 
37 B.C., and thenceforth the throne of Judea was held by 
princes friendly to Rome. 

* One of Herod's former slaves. 

190 



BOOK V. viii.-ix. 

stition, for they had assumed the priesthood to 
support their civil authority. 

IX. The first Roman to subdue the Jews and set 
foot in their temple by right of conquest was Gnaeus 
Pompey : ^ thereafter it was a matter of common 
knowledge that there were no representations of the 
gods within, but that the place was empty and the 
secret shrine contained nothing. The walls of 
Jerusalem were razed, but the temple remained' 
standing. Later, in the time of our civil wars, when 
these eastern provinces had fallen into the hands of 
Mark Antony, the Parthian prince, Pacorus, seized 
Judea, but he was slain by PubHus Ventidius, and 
the Parthians were thro\\Ti back across the Euph- 
rates : 2 the Jews were subdued by Gaius Sosius.^ 
Antony gave the throne to Herod, and Augustus, 
after his victory, increased his power. After Herod's 
death, a certain Simon * assumed the name of king 
without waiting for Caesar's decision. He, however, 
was put to death by Quintihus Varus, governor of 
Syria ; the Jews were repressed ; and the kingdom 
was divided into three parts and given to Herod's 
sons.* Under Tiberius all was quiet. Then, when 
Caligula ordered the Jews to set up his statue in their ^ 
temple, they chose rather to resort to arms, but the ■ 
emperor's death put an end to their uprising. The 
princes now being dead or reduced to insignificance, 
Claudius made Judea a province and entrusted it to 
Roman knights or to freedmen ; one of the latter, 
Antonius Fehx, practised every kind of cruelty and 

* Archilaus, as Ethnarch, ruled Judea, southern Idumea 
and northern Samaria; Herod Antipas, as Tetrarch, had 
GaUlee and Perea; while Philip, as Tetrarch, received the 
district east of the Jordan. 

191 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

omnem saevitiam ac libidinem ius regium servili 
ingenio exercuit, Drusilla Cleopatrae et Antonii 
nepte in matrimonium accepta, ut eiusdem Antonii 
Felix progener, Claudius nepos esset. 

X. Duravit tamen patientia ludaeis Usque ad 
Gessium Florum procuratorem : sub eo bellum ortuin. 
Et comprimere coeptantem Cestium Galium Syriae 
legatum varia proelia ac saepius adversa excepere. 
Qui ubi fato aut taedio occidit, missu Neronis Ves- 
pasianus fortuna famaque et egregiis ministris intra ^ 
duas aestates cuncta camporum omnisque praeter 
Hierosolyma urbis victore exercitu tenebat. Proximus 
annus civili bello intentus quantum ad ludaeos per 
otium transiit. Pace per Italiam parta ^ et externae 
curae rediere : ^ augebat iras quod soli ludaei non 
cessissent; simul manere apud exercitus Titum ad 
omnis principatus novi eventus casusve utile ^ vide- 
batur. 

XI. Igitur castris, uti diximus, ante moenia 
Hierosolymorum positis instructas legiones osten- 
tavit : ludaei sub ipsos muros struxere aciem, rebus 
secundis longius ausuri et, si pellerentur, parato 
perfugio. Missus in eos eques cum expeditis cohorti- 
bus ambigue certavit ; mox cessere hostes et sequen- 
tibus diebus crebra pro portis proelia serebant, donee 

^ intra Eh&nanus : inter M. 
^ parta codd. dett. ; parata M. 
^ redire M. 
* utili M, utilis corr. M^. 

^ Antonius Felix, the brother of Claudius's notorious 
favourite Pallas, was procurator of Judea 52-60 according to 
Josephus, Ant. xx. 7, 1, but seems to have governed the 
southern half before 62. Cf. Tacitus, Ann. xii. 54. 

* Procurator 64-66 a.d. 

193 



BOOK V. ix.-xi. 

lust, wielding the power of king with all the instincts 
of a slave ; ^ he had married Drusilla, the grand- 
daughter of Cleopatra and Antony, and so was 
Antony's grandson-in-law, while Claudius was 
Antony's grandson. 

X. Still the Jews' patience lasted until Gessius 
Florus became procurator : ^ in his time war began. 
When Cestius Gallus, governor of Syria, tried to stop 
it, he suffered varied fortunes and met defeat more 
often than he gained victory. Onjhis deaths. whether^ 
in the course of nature or from vexation^ Nero sent 
out Vespasian, who, aided by his good fortune and 
reputation as well as by his excellent subordinates, 
within two summers occupied Avith his victorious 
army the whole of the level country and all the cities 
except Jerusalem. The next year was taken up 
with civil war, and thus was passed in inactivity so 
far as the Jews were concerned. When peace had 
been secured throughout Italy, foreign troubles 
began again ; and the fact that the Jews alone had 
failed to surrender increased our resentment ; at the 
same time, having regard to all the possibihties and 
hazards of a new reign, it seemed expedient for 
Titus to remain with the army. 

XI. Therefore, as I have said above,^ Titus pitched 
his camp before the walls of Jerusalem and displayed 
his legions in battle array : the Jews formed their 
line close beneath their walls, being thus ready to 
advance if successful, and having a refuge at hand in 
case they were driven back. Some horse and light- 
armed foot were sent against them, but fought 
indecisively ; later the enemy retired, and during 
the following days they engaged in many skirmishes 

' In chap. i. 

193 

VOL. II. O 



THE HISTORIES OF TAGITUS 

adsiduis damnis intra moenia pellerentur. Romani 
ad obpugnandum versi; neque enim dignum vide- 
batur famem hostium opperiri, poscebantque peri- 
cula, pars virtute, multi ferocia et cupidine prae- 
miorum. Ipsi Tito Roma et opes voluptatesque 
ante oculos ; ac ni statim Hierosolyma conciderent, 
morari videbantur. Sed urbem arduam situ opera 
molesque firmaverant, quis vel plana satis munirentur. 
Nam duos collis in immensum editos claudebant muri 
per artem obliqui aut introrsus sinuati, ut latera 
obpugnantium ad ictus patescerent. Extrema rupis 
abrupta, et turres, ubi mons iuvissr^V. in sexagenos ^ 
pedes, inter devexa in centenos vicenosque attolle- 
bantur, mira specie ac procul intuentibus pares. Alia 
intus moenia regiae circumiecta, conspicuoque 
fastigio turris Antonia, in honorem M. Antonii ab 
H erode appellata. 

XII. Templum in modum arcis propriique muri, 
labore et opere ante alios ; ipsae porticus, quis 
templum ambibatur, egregium propugnaculum. Fons 
perennis aquae, cavati sub terra montes et piscinae 
cisternaeque servandis imbribus. Providerant con- 
ditores ex diversitate morum crebra bella: inde 
cuncta quamvis adversus longum obsidium ; et a 

^ sexagenos Bekker : sexaginta M. . 

^ The two hills here meant are apparently Acra and Bezetha, 
which were included within Herod's wall. 

^ The outer circuit of fortifications had 90 towers; there 
were in all 164, according to Josephus, Bell. Ivd, v. 4, 3. 

' The palace stood on Zion, the temple on Moriah. At the 
north-west comer of the temple enclosure Herod built Antony's 
Tower. 

* It is possible, but not probable, that Tacitus means the 
Pool of Siloam; for the context seems to show that he. 
thinking of the temple. 
194 



BOOK V. xi.-xii. 

before their gates until at last their continual defeats 
drove them within their walls. The Romans now 
turned to preparations for an assault ; for the soldiers 
thought it beneath their dignity to wait for the enemy 
to be starved out, and so they began to clamour for 
danger, part being prompted by bravery, but many 
were moved by their savage natures and their desire 
for booty. Tjtus himself had before his eyes a vision 
of Rome, its Mealth and its pleasures, and he felt 
that if Jerusalem ^d not fall at once, his enjoyment 
of them was delayed. But the city stands on an 
eminence, and the Jews had defended it with works 
and fortifications sufficient to protect even level 
ground ; for the two hills that rise to a great height 
had been included within walls that had been skil- 
fully built, projecting out or bending in so as to put 
the flanks of an assailing body under fire.^ The rocks 
terminated in sheer cHfFs, and towers rose to a height 
of sixty feet where the hill assisted the fortifications, 
and in the valleys they reached one himdred and 
twenty; they presented a wonderful sight, and 
appeared of equal height when viewed from a dis- 
tance. ^ An inner line of walls had been built around 
the palace, and on a conspicuous height stands 
Antony's Tower, so named by Herod in honour of 
Mark Antony.^ 

XII. The temple was built like a citadel, with walls 
of its own, which were constructed with more care 
and effort than any of the rest ; the verj' colonnades 
about the temple made a splendid defence. Within 
the enclosure is an ever-flowing spring ; * in the hills 
are subterraneous excavations, with pools and 
cisterns for holding rain-water. The founders of 
the city had foreseen that there would be many wars 
because the ways of their people differed so from those 

195 
o2 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

Pompeio expugnatis metus atque usus pleraque 
monstravere. Atque per avaritiam Claudianorum 
teraporum empto iure muniendi struxere muros in 
pace tamquam ad bellum, magna eonluvie et cetera- 
rum nrbium clade aueti ; nam pervicacissimus quis- 
que illuc perfugerat eoque seditiosius agebant. Tres 
duces, totidem exercitus : extrema et latissima 
moenium Simo, mediam urbem loannes [quern et 
Bargiorami vocabant],^ templum Eleazarus^ firma- 
verat. Multitudine et armis loannes ac Simo, 
Eleazarus loco pollebat : sed proelia dolus incendia 
inter ipsos, et magna vis frumenti ambusta. Mox 
loannes, missis per speciem sacrificandi qui Elea- 
zarum manumque eius obtruncarent, templo potitur. 
Ita in duas factiones civitas discessit, donee pro- 
pinquantibus Romanis bellum externum concordiam 
pareret. 

XIII. Evenerant prodigia, quae neque hostiis 
neque votis piare fas habet gens superstitioni obnoxia, 
religionibus adversa. Visae per caelum concurrere 
acies, rutilantia arma et subito nubium igne conlucere 
templum. Apertae repente delubri fores et audita 
maior humana vox excedere deos ; simul ingens 

^ Bargioram Rhenanus : barbagiorein M. 
- qucm . . . vocabant seel. Bipontini. 
^ alazarus M ; sic infra. 

^ i.e. taken by Vespasian and Titus in 67 and 68 a.d. 

^ Simon had carried on guerilla warfare east of the Jordan, 
but had been called in by the Idumean party in 68 a.d., 
when he was greeted as a saviour by the people; John of 
Gischala headed the Galilean zealots; and Eleazar led the 
patriotic war party. 

^ Cf . Jerem. x. 2 : Thus saith the Lord, learn not the way 
of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; 
for the heathen aie dismayed at them. 

The word religiones probably refers to the formal ceremonies 
196 



BOOK V. xii.-xin. 

of the neighbours : therefore they had built at every 
point as if they expected a long siege ; and after the 
city had been stormed by Pompey, their fears and 
experience taught them much. Moreover, profiting 
by the greed displayed during the reign of Claudius, 
they had bought the privilege of fortifying their city, 
and in time of peace had built walls as if for war. 
The population at this time had been increased by 
streams of rabble that flowed in from the other 
captured cities,^ for the most desperate rebels had 
taken refuge here, and consequently sedition was the 
more rife. There were three generals, three armies : 
the outermost and largest circuit of the walls was 
held by Simon, the middle of the city by John, and 
the temple was guarded by Eleazar.^ John and 
Simon were strong in numbers and equipment, 
Eleazar had the advantage of position : between these 
three there was constant fighting, treachery, and 
arson, and a great store of grain was consumed. Then 
John got possession of the temple by sending a party, 
under pretence of offering sacrifice, to slay Eleazar 
and his troops. So the citizens were divided into 
two factions until, at the approach of the Romans, 
foreign war produced concord. 

XIII. Prodigies had indeed occurred, but to avert 
them either by victims or by vows is held unlavs-ful 
by a people which, though prone to superstition, 
is opposed to all propitiatory rites.' Contending 
hosts were seen meeting in the skies, arms flashed, 
and suddenly the temple was illumined with fire 
from the clouds. Of a sudden the doors of the 
shrino opened and a superhuman voice cried : " The 
gods are departing": at the same moment the 

by which the Romans warded off (procurare) the evil effect of 
prodigies ; but it may have a wider connotation here. 

197 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

motus excedentium. Quae pauci in metum trahe- 
bant : pluribus persuasio inerat antiquis sacerdotum 
litteris contineri eo ipso tempore fore ut valesceret 
Oriens profectique ludaea rerum potirentur. Quae 
ambages Vespasianum ac Titum praedixerat, sed 
vulgus more humanae cupidinis sibi tantam fatorum 
magnitudinem interpretati ne adversis quidem ad 
vera mutabantur. Multitudinem obsessorum omnis ^ 
aetatis, virile ac muliebre secus, sescenta milia fuisse 
accepimus : arma cunctis, qui ferre possent, et plures 
quam pro numero audebant. Obstinatio viris feminis- 
que par ; ac si transferre sedis cogerentur, maior vilae 
metus quam mortis. Hanc adversus urbemgentem- 
que Caesar Titus, quando impetus et subita belli 
locus abnueret, aggeribus vineisque certare statuit: 
dividuntur legionibus munia et quies proeliorum fuit, 
donee cuncta expugnandis urbibus reperta apud 
veteres aut novis ingeniis struerentur. 

XIV. At Civilis post malam in Treviris pugnam 
reparato per Germaniam exercitu apud Vetera castra 
consedit, tutus loco, et ut memoria prosperarum illic 
rerum augescerent barbarorum animi. Secutus est 

^ homiiiis M. 

1 Cf. Verg. ^671. ii. 351 f.; excessere omnea adytis arisque 
relictis / di quibus imperium hoc steterat ; and the remarks 
by Macrob., Sat. ill. 9 on these verses. Josephus, Bell. Ivd. 
vi. 299 (Niese) relates that at Pentecost the priests heard 
repeatedly a cry from the innermost part of the temple : )u«to- 
fialvofifv ivrevdev, 

2 Of. Dan. ii. 44; Suet. Vesp. 4. 

* Tacitus here resumes the story of the revolt of Civilis 
which he dropped at iv. 79. 

198 



BOOK V. xiii.-xiv. 

mighty stir of their going was heard.^ Few inter- 
preted these omens as fearful ; the majority firmly 
believed that their ancient priestly -wTitings contained 
the prophecy that this was the very time when the 
East should grow strong and that men starting from 
Judea should possess the world. ^ This mysterious 
prophecy had in reaUty pointed to Vespasian and 
Titus, but the common people, as is the way of 
human ambition, interpreted these great destinies 
in their own favour, and could not be turned to 
the truth even by adversity. We have heard that 
the total number of the besieged of every age and 
both sexes was six hundred thousand : there were 
arms for all who could use them, and the number 
ready to fight was larger than could have been 
anticipated from the total population. Both men 
and women showed the same determination ; and 
if they were to be forced to change their home, they 
feared life more than death. 

Such was the city and people against which^itus 
Caesar now proceeded ; since the nature of the ground 
did not allow him to assault or employ any sudden 
operations, he decided to use earthworks and mant- 
lets : the legions were assigned to their several tasks, 
and there was a respite of fighting until they made 
ready every device for sforming a town that the 
ancients had ever employed or modem ingenuity 
invented. 

XIV. But meantime CiviHs,^ after his reverse 
among the Treviri, recruited his army in Germany 
and encamped at Vetera, where he was protected by 
his position, and he also wished to inspire his bar- 
barian troops with new courage from the memory 
of their former successes there. Cerialis followed 

199 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

eodem Cerialis, duplicatis copiis adventu secundae et 
tertiae decimae ^ et quartae decimae legionum ; 
cohortesque et alae iam pridem accitae post victoriam 
properaverant. Neuter ducum cunctator, sed arce- 
bat latitude camporum suopte ingenio umentium ; 
addiderat Civilis obliquam in Rhenum molem, 
cuius obiectu revolutus amnis adiacentibus super- 
funderetur. Ea loci forma, incertis vadis subdola et 
nobis adversa: quippe miles Romanus armis gravis 
et nandi pavidus, Germanos fluminibus suetos 
levitas armorum et proceritas corporum attollit. 

XV. Igitur lacessentibus Batavis ferocissimo cuique 
nostrorum coeptum certamen, deinde orta trepidatio, 
cum praealtis paludibus arma equi haurirentur.2 
Gennani notis vadis persultabant, omissa plerumque 
fronte latera ac terga circumvenientes. Neque ut in 
pedestri acie comminus certabatur, sed tamquam na- 
vali pugna vagi inter undas aut, si quid stabile occurre- 
bat, totis illic corporibus nitentes, vulnerati^ cum 
integris, periti nandi cum ignaris in mutuam perniciem 
implicabantur. Minor tamen quam pro tumultu 
caedes,* quia non ausi egredi paludem Germani in 
castra rediere. Eius proelii eventus utrumque 
ducem diversis animi motibus ad maturandum 

^ xiij M. 

2 armae qui auiirentur M, h superscr. 3/'. 

3 volneratis M. * ceres M. 
200 



BOOK V. xiv.-xv. 

after him, having had his forces doubled by the 
arrival of the Second, Sixth, and Fourteenth legions ; 
moreover, the auxiliary foot and horse that he had 
ordered up long before had hurried to join him after 
his victory. Neither general was given to delay, 
but they were separated by a \nde plain that was 
naturally marshy ; moreover, Civilis had built a dam 
obHquely into the Rhine, so that the river, thrown 
from its course by this obstacle, flooded the adjacent 
fields. Such was the nature of the ground, which 
was treacherous for our men because the shallows 
were uncertain and therefore dangerous : for the 
Roman soldier is heavily weighted with arms and 
afraid of swimming, but the Germans are accustomed 
to streams, are Hghtly armed, and their great stature 
keeps their heads above water. 

XV. Therefore when the Batavians attacked our 
men, the bravest of our troops engaged ; but a panic 
soon followed as arms and horses were swallowed up 
in the deep marshes. The Germans, knowing the 
shallows, leaped through the waters, and frequently, 
leaving our front, surrounded our men on the flanks 
and rear ; there was no fighting at close quarters, as 
is usual in an engagement between infantry, but the 
struggle was rather like a naval fight, for the men 
floundered about in the water, or, if they found firm 
ground, they exerted all their strength to secure it ; 
so the wounded and the uninjured, those who could 
swim and those who could not, struggled together to 
their common destruction. Yet our loss was not in 
proportion to the confusion, because the Germans, 
not daring to come oiit of the marshes on to firm 
ground, returned to their camp. The outcome of 
this engagement encouraged both leaders from 

201 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

Summae rei discrimen erexit. Civilis instare fortunae, 
Cerialis abolere ignominiam : Germani prosperis 
feroces, Roraanos pudor excitaverat. Nox apud 
barbaros cantu aut clamore, nostris per iram et 
minas acta, 

XVI. Postera luce Cerialis equite et auxiliariis 
cohortibus frontem explet, in secunda acie legiones 
locatae, dux sibi delectos retinuerat ad improvisa. 
Civilis haud porrecto agmine, sed cuneis adstitit : 
Batavi Cugernique in dextro, laeva ac propiora 
flumini^ Transrhenani tenuere. Exhortatio ducum 
non more contionis apud universes, sed ut quosque 
suorum advehebantur. Cerialis veterem Romani 
nominis gloriam, antiquas recentisque victorias; ut 
perfidum ignavum victum hostem in aetemum 
exciderent, ultione magis^ quam proelio opus esse. 
Pauciores nuper cum pluribus certasse, ac tamen 
fusos Germanos, quod roboris fuerit : superesse qui 
fugam animis, qui vulnera tergo ferant. Proprios 
inde stimulos legionibus admovebat, domitores Bri- 
tanniae quartadecimanos appellans ; principem 
Galbam sextae legionis auctoritate factum; ilia 
primum acie secundanos nova signa novamque 
aquilam dicaturos. Hinc praevectus adGermanicum 
exercitum manus tendebat, ut suam ripam, sua 

^ Anmini Nipperdey: fluminis 1/. 

* a verbo magis iisque ad sagulia versicoloribus c. xxiii 
acripturam evanidam renovavit M^. 



1 Cf. ii. 11. a Of. iii. 44. 

^ The Second had been recently enrolled. See iv. 68. 
* The legions (i, xvi, and xxi) that had gone over to the 
Gauls and returned again to Roman allegiance. Cf. iv. 72. 



BOOK V. xv.-xvi. 

different motives to hasten the final struggle. Ci\11is 
wished to follow up his good fortune ; Cerialis to wipe 
out his disgrace : the Germans were emboldened by 
their success ; the Romans were stirred by shame. 
The barbarians spent the night in singing or shouting ; 
our men in rage and threats of vengeance. 

XVI, The next day Cerialis stationed his cavalry 
and auxihary infantry in his front line and placed his 
legions in the second, while he reser\'ed some picked 
troops under his own leadership to meet emergencies. 
Civilis did not oppose him with an extended front, 
but ranged his troops in columns: the Batavi and 
Cugerni were on his right ; the left ^ing, nearer the 
river, was held by tribes from across the Rhine. The 
generals did not encourage their troops in formal 
appeals to the whole body, but they addressed each 
division as they rode along the Une. Cerialis recalled 
the ancient glories of the Roman name, their victories 
old and new; he urged them to destroy for ever 
these treacherous and cowardly foes whom they had 
already beaten ; it was vengeance rather than battle 
that was needed. " You have recently fought 
against superior numbers, and yet you routed the 
Germans, and their picked troops at that : those who 
survive carry terror in their hearts and wounds on 
their backs." He applied the proper spur to each 
of the legions, calUng the Fourteenth the "Con- 
querors of Britain," ^ reminding the Sixth that it 
was by their influence that Galba had been made 
emperor ,2 and telling the Second that in the battle 
that day they would dedicate their new standards, 
and their new eagle.^ Then he rode toward the 
German army,* and stretching out his hands begged 
these troops to recover their own river-bank and 

203 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

castra sanguine hostium reciperarent. Alacrior 
omnium clamor, quis vel ex longa pace proelii cupido 
vel fessis bello pacis amor, praemiaque et quies in 
posterum sperabantur. 

XVII. Nee Civilis silens ^ instruxit aciem, locum 
pugnae testem virtutis ciens : stare Germanos 
Batavosque super vestigia gloriae, cineres ossaque 
legionum calcantis, Quocumque oculos Romanus 
intenderet, captivitatem clademque et dira omnia 
obversari. Ne terrerentur vario Trevirici proelii 
eventu : suam illic victoriam Germanis obstitisse, 
dum omissis telis praeda manus impediunt: sed 
cuncta niox prospera et hosti contraria evenisse. 
Quae provideri^ astu ducis oportuerit, providisse, 
campos madentis et ipsis gnaros, paludes hostibus 
noxias. Rhenum et Germaniae deos in aspectu : 
quorum numine capesserent pugnam, coniugum 
parentum patriae memores : ilium diem aut glorio- 
sissimum inter maiores aut ignominiosum apud 
posteros fore. Ubi sono armorum tripudiisque (ita 
illis mos) adprobata sunt dicta, saxis glandibusque et 
ceteris missilibus proelium incipitur, neque nostro 
milite paludem ingrediente et Germanis, ut eli- 
cerentj lacessentibus. 

XVIII. Absumptis quae iaciuntur et ardescente 
pugna procursum ab hoste infestius : immensis 
corporibus et praelongis hastis fluitantem labantem- 

^ silens Pichena : silentem M. 

- previse in rasura iP, pvise in margine, M-. 

1 Vetera. « Of. iv. 77 ff. 

204 



BOOK V. xvi.-xviii. 

their camp^ at the expense of the enemy's blood. 
.\n enthusiastic shout arose from all, for some after 
their long peace were eager for battle, others weary 
of war desired peace ; and they all hoped for rewards 
and rest thereafter. 

XVII. Nor did Ci\ilis form his lines in silence, but 
called on the place of battle to bear witness to his 
soldiers' bravery : he reminded the Germans and 
Batavians that they were standing on the field of 
glory, that they were trampling underfoot the bones 
and ashes of Roman legions. " Wherever the Roman 
turns his eyes," he cried, " captivity, disaster, and 
dire omens confront him. You must not be alarmed 
by the adverse result of your battle with the Treviri : - 
there their very victory hampered the Germans, for 
they dropped their arms and filled their hands ^ith 
booty : but everything since has gone favourably for 
us and against the Romans. Every provision has 
been made that a wise general should make : the 
fields are flooded, but we know them well; the 
marshes are fatal to our foes. Before you are the 
Rhine and the gods of Germany : engage under their 
divine favour, remembering your \mes, parents, and 
fatherland : this day shall crown the glories of our 
sires or be coimted the deepest disgrace by our 
descendants ! " When the Germans had applauded 
these words with clashing arms and wild dancing 
according to their custom, they opened battle with a 
volley of stones, leaden balls, and other missiles, and 
since our soldiers did not enter the marsh, the foe 
tried to provoke them and so lure them on. 

XVIII. When they had spent their missiles, as the 
battle grew hotter, the enemy charged fiercely : their 
huge stature and their extremely long spears allowed 

205 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

que militem eminus fodiebant ; simul e mole, quam 
eductam in Rhenum rettulimus, Bructerorum cuneus 
transnatavit. Turbata ibi res et pellebatur sociarum 
cohortium acies, cum legiones pugnam cxcipiunt 
suppressaque hostium ferocia proelium aequatur. 
Inter quae perfuga Batavus adiit Cerialem, terga 
hostium promittens, si extremo paludis eques 
mitteretur : solidum ilia et Cugernos, quibus custodia 
obvenisset, parum intentos. Duae alae cum perfuga 
missae incauto hosti circumfunduntur. Quod ubi 
clamore cognitum, legiones a fronte incubuere. 
pulsique Germani Rhenum fuga petebant. Debella- 
tum eo die foret, si Romana classis sequi maturasset : 
ne eques quidem institit, repente fusis imbribus et 
propinqua nocte. 

XIX. Postera die quartadecima legio in superiorem 
provinciam Gallo Annio ^ missa : Cerialis exercitum 
decima ex Hispania legio supplevit : Civili Chau- 
corum auxilia venere. Non tamen ausus oppidum 
Batavorum armis tueri, raptis quae ferri poterant, 
ceteris iniecto igni, in insulam concessit, gnarus 
deesse navis efficiendo ponti, neque exercitum Roma- 
num aliter transmissurum : quin et diruit ^ molem a 
Druso Germanico factam Rhenumque prono alveo 



^ Annio Puteolamts : animo M^. 
2 diluit MK 



ap6 



BOOK V. xviii.-xix. 

them to wound our men from a distance as they slipped 
and floundered in the water; at the same time a column 
of the Bructeri swam across from the dam that, as I 
have said, had been built out into the Rhine. This 
caused some confusion and the line of allied infantry 
was being driven back, when the legions took up 
the fight, checked the enemy's savage advance, and 
so equahsed the contest. Meantime a Batavian 
deserter approached Cerialis, promising him a chance 
to attack the enemy's rear if he would send some 
cavalry along the edge of the marsh ; for there, he 
said, was solid ground and the Cugemi, who guarded 
at that spot, were careless. Two troops of horse 
were despatched with the deserter and succeeded 
in outflanking the unsuspecting enemy. When this 
was made evident by a shout, the legions charged 
in front, and the Germans were routed and fled 
towards the Rhine. The war would have been ended 
on that day if the Roman fleet had hurried to follow 
after them : as it was, not even the cavalry pressed 
forward, for rain suddenly began to fall and night 
was close at hand. 

XIX. The next day the Fourteenth legion was 
sent to Gallus Annius in the upper province : the 
Tenth, coming from Spain, took its place in the army 
of Ceriahs : Civilis was reinforced by some auxiliaries 
from the Chauci. Yet he did not dare to defend the 
capital of the Bata\-ians, but seizing everything that 
was portable, he burned the rest and retired into the 
island, for he knew that Ceriahs did not have the 
boats to build a bridge, and that the Roman army 
could not be got across the river in any other way ; 
moreover, he destroyed the dike that Drusus Ger- 
manicus had built, and so by demolishing the barriers 

207 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

ill Galliam ruentem, disiectis quae morabantur, 
effudit. Sicvelut abacto amne tenuis alveus insulam 
inter Germanosque continentium terrarum speciera 
f ecerat. Transiere Rhenum Tutor quoque et Classicus 
et centum tredeeim Trevirorum senatores, in quis 
fuit Alpinius Montanus, quern a Primo Antonio 
missum in Gallias superius memoravimus. Comita- 
batur eum frater D. Alpinius : simul ceteri misera- 
tione ae donis auxilia concibant inter gentis peri- 
culorum avidas. 

XX. Tantumque belli superfuit ut praesidia co- 
liortiuni alarum legionum uno die^ Civilis quadri- 
pertito 2 invaserit, decimam legionem Arenaci, secun- 
dam Batavoduri et Grinnes Vadamque, cohortium 
alarumque castra, ita divisis copiis ut ipse et Verax, 
sorore eius genitus, Classicusque ac Tutor suam 
quisque manum traherent, nee omnia patrandi fidu- 
cia, sed multa ausis aliqua in parte fortunam adfore : 
simul Cerialem neque satis cautum et pluribus 
nuntiis hue illuc cursantem posse medio intercipi. 
Quibus obvenerant castra decimanorum, obpugna- 
tionem legionis arduam rati egressum militem et 
caedendis materiis operatum turbavere, occiso 
praefecto castrorum et quinque primoribus centurio- 
num paucisque militibus : ceteri se munimentis ^ 

1 legionem modie M'^. 

" quadripertito Ernesli: quadripertita M^. 

* ceteris eminentis M^. 

^ This dike or rampart had been begun by Dnisus in 9 b.c. 
and completed by Pompeius Paulinus in 65 a.d. {Ann. 
xiii. 63). By breaking it down Civilis let the water sweep 
into the Waal, the southernmost arm of the Rhine. 

2 Cf. iii. 35. 

^ The identity of these towns is uncertain. 

2o8 



BOOK V. xix.-xx. 

that checked it, he let the Rhine pour in full flow 
into Gaul along an unencmnbered channel.^ Thus 
the Rhine was virtually drawn off, and the shallow 
channel that was left between the island and Germany 
made the lands seem uninterrupted. Tutor also 
and Classicus crossed the Rhine, with one hundred 
and thirteen Treviran senators, among whom was 
Alpinius Montanus, who had been sent into Gaul 
by Primus Antonius, as we stated above.^ He was 
accompanied by his brother, Decimus Alpinius ; at 
the same time the others also were trying to raise 
reinforcements among these bold and adventurous 
tribes by appeals to their pity and by gifts. 

XX. In fact the war was so far from being over that 
in a single day Ci\'ilis attacked the standing camps of 
the auxiliary foot and horse and of the regular legions 
as well, at four several points, assailing the Tenth 
legion at Arenacum, the Second at Batavodunun, and 
the camp of the auxiliary foot and horse at Grinnes 
and Vada ; ^ he so divided his troops that he and 
Verax, his nephew, Classicus and Tutor, each led his 
owTi force ; they did not expect to be successful 
everywhere, but they trusted that by making many 
ventures they would be successful in some one point ; 
besides, they thought that Cerialis was not very 
cautious and that, as he hurried from place to place 
on receiving various reports, he might be cut off. 
The force that was to assail the camp of the Tenth 
legion, thinking that it was a difficult task to storm 
a legion, cut off some troops that had left their 
fortifications and were busy felling timber, and 
succeeded in killing the prefect of the camp, five 
centurions of the first rank, and a few common 
soldiers ; the rest defended themselves in the fortifi- 

209 

VOL. II. p 



THE HISTORIES OF TAGITUS 

defendere. Interim Germanorum manus Batavoduri 
interrumpere 1 inchoatum pontem nitebantur: am- 
biguum proelium nox diremit. 

XXI. Plus discriminis apud Grinnes Vadamque. 
Vadam Civilis, Grinnes Classicus obpugnabant: nee 
sisti poterant interfecto fortissimo quoque, in quis 
Briganticus praefectus alae ceciderat, quern fidum 
Romanis et Civili avunculo infensum diximus. Sed 
ubi Cerialis cum delecta equitum manu subvenit, 
versa fortuna praecipites Germani in amnem agun- 
tur. Civilis dum fugientis retentat, agnitus petitus- 
que telis relicto equo transnatavit ^ ; idem Veraci' 
effugium : Tutorem Classicumque adpulsae lintres 
transvexere.* Ne tum quidem Romana classis pugnae 
adfuit, et iussum erat, sed obstitit formido et remiges 
per alia militiae munia dispersi. Sane Cerialis 
parum temporis ad exequenda imperia dabat, subi- 
tus consiliis set eventu clarus : aderat fortuna, etiam 
ubi artes defuissent : hinc ipsi exercituique minor 
cura disciplinae. Et paucos post dies, quamquam 
periculum captivitatis evasisset, infamiam non 
vitavit.5 

XXII. Profectus Novaesium Bonnamque ad visenda 
castra, quae hiematuris legionibus erigebantur, 
navibus remeabat disiecto agmine, incuriosis vigiliis. 

^ interrumpere Kiessling : inrumpere M^, 

2 tnataum M^. ^ Veraci Bitter : germani M^. 

* transvexere Halm : vexere M^. 

s mutavit M^. 

1 Cf. iv. 70. 
2X0 



BOOK V. XX.-XXII. 

cations. Meanwhile a force of Germans at Batavo- 
durum tried to destroy a bridge that had been 
begun there ; the indecisive struggle was ended 
by the coming of night. 

XXI. There was greater danger at Grinnes and 
\ ada. Civihs tried to capture Vada by assault, 
Classicus, Grinnes ; and they could not be checked, 
for the bravest of our men had fallen, among them 
Briganticusj captain of a squadron of cavaby, who, 
as Ave have said,^ was loyal to the Romans and hostile 
to his uncle Civilis. But the arrival of Ceriahs with 
a picked body of horse changed the fortunes of the 
day and the Germans w-ere driven headlong into the 
river. As Civilis was trying to rally the fugitives he 
was recognized and made a target for our weapons, 
but he abandoned his horse and swam across the river ; 
V'erax escaped in the same way ; Tutor and Classicus 
were carried over by some boats that were brought 
up for the purpose. Not even on this occasion was 
the Roman fleet at hand ; the order had indeed been 
given, but fear and also the dispersal of the rowers 
among other mihtary duties prevented its execution. 
Indeed, Ceriahs commonly gave insufficient time for 
the execution of his orders, being hasty in planning, 
but brilUant in his successes : good fortune attended 
him even when he had lacked skill ; and the result 
was that both he and his troops paid too httle regard 
to disciphne. A few days later he narrowly avoided 
being taken prisoner, but he did not escape the 
attendant disgrace. 

XXII. He had gone to Novaesium and Bonn to 
inspect the camps that were being built for the 
legions' winter quarters, and was now returning with 
the fleet, while his escort straggled and his sentries 

211 

p2 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

Animadversum id Germanis et Insidias composuere : 
electa nox atra nubibus, et prono amne rapti nuUo 
prohibente vallum ineunt. Prima caedes astu 
adiuta: incisis tabemaculorum funibus suismet 
tentoriis coopertos trucidabant. Aliud agmen tur- 
bare classem, inicere vincla, trahere puppis; utque 
ad fallendum silentio, ita coepta caeda, quo plus 
terroris adderent, cuncta clamoribus miscebant. 
Romani vulneribus exciti quaerunt arma, ruunt 
per vias, pauci ornatu miUtari, plerique circum 
brachia torta veste et strictis mucronibus. Dux 
semisomnus ac prope intectus errore hostium ser- 
vatur; namque praetoriam navem vexillo insignem, 
illic ducem rati, abripiunt. Cerialis alibi noctem^ 
egerat, ut plerique credidere, ob stuprum Claudiae 
Sacratae mulieris Ubiae.^ Vigiles flagitium suum 
ducis dedecore excusabant, tamquam iussi silere ne 
quietem eius turbarent; ita intermisso signo et 
vocibus se quoque in somnum lapsos. Multa luce 
revecti hostes captivis navibus, praetoriam triremem 
flumine Lupia donum Veledae traxere. 

XXIII. Civilem cupido incessit' navalem aciem 
ostentandi : complet quod biremium quaeque sim- 

^ nave M^. ^ Ubiae Rhenanus : ubie M^. 

' invasi incessit 31^. 

1 Cf. iv. 61. 

212 



BOOK V. xxii.-xxiiT. 

were careless. The Germans noticed this and planned 
an ambuscade; they selected a night black vrith 
clouds, and slipping do\\-n-stream got within the caniji 
without opposition. Their onslaught was helped at 
first by cunning, for they cut the tent ropes and 
massacred the soldiers as they lay buried beneath 
their own shelters. Another force put the fleet into 
confusion, throwing grappling-irons on board and 
dragging the boats away ; while they acted in silence 
at first to avoid attracting attention, after the 
slaughter had begun they endeavoured to increase 
the panic by their shouts. Roused by their wounds 
the Romans looked for their arms and ran up and 
down the streets of the camp ; few were properly 
equipped, most with their garments wrapped around 
their arms and their swords drawn. Their general, 
half-asleep and almost naked, was saved only by the 
enemy's mistake ; for the Germans dragged away 
his flagship, which was distinguished by a standard, 
thinking that he was there. But Cerialis had spent 
the night elsewhere, as many believe, on account of 
an intrigue with Claudia Sacrata, a Ubian woman. 
The sentries tried to use the scandalous beha\iour 
of their general to shield their own faiilt, claiming 
that they had been ordered to keep quiet that his 
rest might not be disturbed; that was the reason 
that the trumpet-call and the challenges had been 
omitted, and so they had dropped to sleep themselves. 
The enemy sailed off in broad daylight on the ships 
that they had captured ; the flagship they took up 
the Lippe as a gift to Veleda.^ 

XXIII. Civilis was now seized with a desire to 
make a naval demonstration ; he therefore manned 
all the biremes and all the ships that had but a single 

213 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

plici orcline agebantur ; adiecta ingens lintrium vis, 
tricenos quadragenosque . . .^ armamenta Libur- 
aicis solita; et simul captae lintres sagulis versi- 
coloribus haud indecore^ pro velis iuvabantur. 
Spatium velut aequoris electum quo Mosae fluminis 
OS amnem Rhenum Oceano adfundit. Causa in- 
struendae classis super insitam genti vanitatem ut 
eo terrore commeatus Gallia adventantes inter- 
ciperentur. Cerialis miraculo magis quam metu 
derexib classem, numero imparem, usu remigum,^ 
gubernatorum arte, navium magnitudine potiorem. 
His flumen secundum, illi vento agebantur : sic 
praevecti temptato levium telorum iactu dirimiintur. 
Civilis nihil ultra ausus trans Rhenum concessit : 
Cerialis insulam Batavorum hostiliter populatus 
agros villasque Civilis intactas nota arte ducum 
sinebat, cum interim flexu autumni et crebris per 
aequinoctium * imbribus superfusus amnis palustrem 
humilemque insulam in faciem stagni opplevit. Nee 
classis aut commeatus aderant, castraque in piano 
sita vi fluminis difFerebantur. 

XXIV. Potuisse tunc opprimi legiones et volu- 
isse Germanos, sed dole a se flexos imputavit 
Civilis; neque abhorret vero, quando paucis post 

^ lacunam notavit Bitter. 

* ab haud indecore usque ad concussa transrhenanorum 
fide inter c. xxv scripturam evanidam superscripsit M^. 

3 remigium M. 

* aequinoctium Orellius : equin . . tium in rasura M. 

^ In the confused condition of the text at the beginning of 
this chapter, we cannot do more than give the probable sense 
of what Tacitus wrote. 

^ That Civilis might be suspected by his supporters of 
collusion with the Romans. 

214 



BOOK V. xxni.-xxn'. 

bank of oars ; to this fleet he added a vast number of 
boats, [putting in each] thirty or forty men, the 
ordinary complement of a Libumian cruiser ; and at 
the same time the boats that he had captured were 
fitted with particoloured plaids for sails, which made 
a fine show and helped their movement.^ The place 
chosen for the display was a small sea, so to speak, 
formed at the point where the mouth of the Maas 
discharges the water of the Rhine into the ocean. 
Now his purpose in marshalling this fleet, apart from 
the native vanity of a Batavian, was to frighten away 
the convoys of supphes that were coming from Gaul. 
Ceriahs, more surprised than frightened by this 
action of Civilis, drew up his fleet, which, although 
inferior in numbers, was superior in having more 
experienced rowers, more skilful pilots, and larger 
ships. His vessels were helped by the current, his 
opponents enjoyed a favourable wind ; so they sailed 
past each other and separated, after trying some shots 
with Ught missiles. Civihs dared attempt nothing 
further, but withdrew across the Rhine ; Ceriahs 
devastated the island of the Batavians in relentless 
fashion, but, adopting a familiar dexice of generals, 
he left untouched the farms and buildings of Civilis.^ 
In the meantime the turn of autumn and the frequent 
equinoctial rains that followed caused the river to 
overflow and made the low marshy island look like a 
swamp. Neither fleet nor supplies were on hand, 
and the Roman camp, being situated on flat ground, 
began to be washed away by the current. 

XXIV. That the legions could then have been 
crushed, and that the Germans wished to do so but 
were craftily dissuaded by him, were claims after- 
wards made by Ci\ihs ; and in fact his claim seems 

215 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

diebus deditio insecuta est. Nam Cerialis per 
occultos nuntios Batavis pacem, Civili veniam 
ostentans, Veledam propinquosque monebat fortunam 
belli, tot cladibus adversam, opportune erga populum 
Romanum merito mutare : caesos Treviros, receptos 
Ubios, ereptam Batavis patriam ; neque aliud Civilis 
amicitia partum ^ quam vulnera fugas luctus. Exulem 
eum et extorrem recipientibus oneri, et satis pecca- 
visse quod totiens Rhenum transcenderint. Si quid 
ultra moliantur, inde iniuriam et culpam, hinc 
ultionem et deos fore. 

XXV. Miscebantur minis promissa; et concussa 
Transrhenanorum fide inter Batavos quoque sermones 
oi'ti : non prorogandam ultra ruinam, nee posse ab 
una natione totius orbis servitium depelli. Quid 
profectum caede et incendiis legionum nisi ut plures ^ 
validioresque accirentur? Si Vespasiano bellum 
navaverint, Vespasianum rerum potiri : sin populum 
Romanum armis vocentj quotam partem generis 
humani Batavos esse ? Respicerent Raetos Xoricos- 
que et ceterorum onera sociorum : sibi non tributa, 
sed virtutem et viros indici. Proximum id libertati : 

' partum Ritt«r : paratntn M. 
2 fnrefl M. 
2l6 



BOOK V. xxiv.-xxv. 

not far from the truth, since his surrender followed 
a few days later. For while CeriaUs by secret 
messengers was holding out to the Bata\ians the 
prospect of peace and to Civilis of pardon, he was also 
advising Veleda and her relatives to change the 
fortunes of a war, which repeated disasters had shown 
to be adverse to them, by rendering a timely service 
to the Roman people : he reminded them that the 
Treviri had been cut to pieces, the Ubii had returned 
to their allegiance, and the Batavians had lost their 
native land; they had gained nothing from their 
friendship with Ci%"ilis but wounds, banishment, and 
grief. An exile and homeless he would be only a 
burden to any who harboured him, and they had 
already done wTong enough in crossing the Rhine so 
many times. If they transgressed further, the wrong 
and guilt would be theirs, but vengeance and the 
favour of heaven would belong to the Romans. 

XXV. These promises were mingled with threats ; 
and when the fidelity of the tribes across the Rhine 
had been shaken, debates began among the Batavians 
as well: "We must not extend our ruin further; 
no single nation can avert the enslavement of the 
whole world. What have we accomphshed by 
destroying legions with fire and sword except to 
cause more legions and stronger forces to be brought 
up ? If we have fought for \'espasian, Vespasian is 
now master of the world ; if we are challenging the 
whole Roman people in arms, we must recognize 
what a trifling part of mankind we Batavians are. 
Look at the Raetians, the Noricans, and consider the 
burdens Rome's other allies bear: we are not 
required to pay tribute, but only to furnish valour 
and men. This is a condition next to freedom ; and 

217 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

et si dominoi'um electio sit, honestius principes 
Romanorum quam Germanorum feminas tolerari. 
Haec vulgus, proceres atrociora : Civilis rabie semet 
in arma trusos ; ilium domesticis malis excidium 
gentis opposuisse. Tunc infensos Batavis deos, cum 
obsiderentur legiones, interficerentur legati, bellum 
uni necessarium, ferale ipsis sumeretur. Ventum 
ad extrema, ni resipiscere incipiant et noxii capitis 
poena paenitentiam fateantur. 

XXVI. Non fefellit Civileni ea inclinatio et prae- 
venire statuit, super taedium malorum etiam spe ^ 
vitae, quae plerumque magnos animos infringit. 
Petito conloquio scinditur Nabaliae fluminis pons, 
in cuius abrupta progressi duces, et Civilis ita coepit : 
" si apud Vitellii^ legatum defenderer, neque facto 
meo venia neque dictis fides debebatur; cuncta 
inter nos inimica : hostilia ab illo coepta, a me aucta 
erant : erga Vespasianum vetus mihi observantia, et 
cum privatus esset, amici vocabamur. Hoc Primo 
Antonio notum, cuius epistulis ad bellum actus sum, 
ne Germanicae legiones et Gallica inventus Alpis 
transcenderent. Quae Antonius epistulis, Hordeonius 
Flaccus praesens monebat : arma in Germania movi,^ 
quae Mucianus in Syria, Aponiusin Moesia, Flavianus 
in Pannonia 4 * * * * 

1 spem M. 2 vitellium M. 

' movit M, * pannia M. 

^ At this point the Histories break off. Of the fate of 
Civilis we know nothing. That the Batavians were treated 
favourably seems clear from Oerm. 29 : manet honos et 
antiquae societatis insigne; nam nee tributis contemnimtur 
neo publicanus atterit; exempt! oneribus et collationibus 
et tantum in usum proeliorum sepositi, velut tela atque arma, 
bellis reservantur. 

2i8 



BOOK V. xxv.-xxvi. 

if we are to choose our masters, we can more honour- 
ably bear the rule of Roman emperors than of German 
women." So the common people ; the chiefs spoke 
more violently: "We have been drawn into arms 
by the madness of Civilis ; he wished to avert his own 
misfortunes by the ruin of his country. The gods 
were hostile to the Bata\ians on the day when we 
besieged the legions, murdered their commanders, 
and began this war that was a necessity only to 
Ci^•ilis, but to us fatal. There is nothing left 
us, unless we begin to come to our senses and 
show our repentance by punishing the guilty 
individual." 

XXVI. Ci^ilis was not unaware of this change of 
feeling and he decided to anticipate it, not only 
because he was weary of suffering, but also for the 
hope of hfe, which often breaks do^\•n high courage. 
^STien he asked for a conference, the bridge over 
the Nabaha was cut in two and the leaders advanced 
to the broken ends ; then Civihs began thus : " If I 

I were defending myself before a legate of Vitellius, 
my acts would desen'e no pardon nor my words any 
credence ; there was nothing but hatred between 
him and me — he began the quarrel, I increased it ; 
toward ^^espasian my respect is of long standing; 
and when he was still a private citizen we were 
called friends. Primus Antonius knew this when 
he sent me a letter calling me to arms to keep the 
legions of Germany and the young men of Gaul 
from crossing the Alps. WTiat Antonius advised 
by letter, Hordeonius urged in person ; I have 
begun the same war in Germany that Mucianus 
began in Syria, Aponius in Moesia, Flavianus in 
Pannonia." . . . ^ 

219 



FRAGMENTA HISTORIARUM 

1. ludaei obsidione clausi, quia nulla neque pacis 
neque deditionis copia dabatur, ad extremum fame 
intei'ibant, passimque viae oppleri cadaveribus coe- 
pere, victo iam officio humandi : quin omnia nefanda 
esca super ausi ne humanis quidem corporibus peper- 
cerunt, nisi quae eiusmodi alimentis tabes praeri- 
puerat. — Sulpicius Severus, Chron. ii. 30. 3. 

2. Fei'tur Titus adhibito ^ consilio prius deliberasse 
an templum tanti operis everteret. Etenim non- 
nullis videbatur aedem sacratam ulti*a omnia mor- 
talia inlustvem non oportere deleri, quae servata 
modestiae Romanae testimonium, diruta perennem 
crudelitatis notam praeberet. At contra alii et Titus 
ipse evertendum in piimis templum censebant quo 
plenius ludaeorum et Christianorum religio tollere- 
tur : quippe has religiones, licet contrarias sibi, isdem 
tamen ab auctoribus profectas ; Christianos ex 
ludaeis extitisse : radice sublata stirpem facile peri- 
turam. — Sulpicius Severus, Chron. ii. 30. G. 

3. Sescenta milia ludaeorum eo bello interfecla 
Cornelius et Suetonius referunt. — Orosius vii. 9. 7. 



^ Tacitus actually says (v. 13) that six hundred thousand 
was the number of the besieged. Suetonius, in liis extant 
works, says nothing of the number of those killed. 

220 



FRAGMENTS OF THE HISTORIES 

1. The Jews, being closely besieged and given no 
opportunity to make peace or to surrender, were 
finally dying of starvation, and the streets began 
to be filled >^"ith corpses everj-where, for they were 
now unequal to the duty of burying their dead; 
moreover, made bold to resort to every kind of 
horrible food, they did not spare even hiunan 
bodies — save those of which they had been robbed 
by the wasting that such food had caused. 

2. It is said that Titus first called a council and 
deliberated whether he should destroy such a mighty 
temple. For some thought that a consecrated shrine, 
which was famous beyond all other works of men, 
ought not to be razed, arguing that its preservation 
would bear >vitness to the moderation of Rome, 
while its destruction would for ever brand her cruelty. 
Yet others, including Titus himself, opposed, hold- 
ing the destruction of this temple to be a prime 
necessity in order to wipe out more completely the 
rehgion of the Jews and the Christians ; for they 
urged that these religions, although hostile to each 
other, nevertheless sprang from the same sources ; 
the Christians had grown out of the Jews : if the 
root were destroyed, the stock would easily perish. 

3. That six hundred thousand Jews were killed 
in that war is stated by Cornelius and Suetonius.^ 

221 



THE HISTORIES OF TACITUS 

4. Deinde, ut verbis Cornelii Taciti loquar, sene 
Augusto lanus patefactus, dum apud extremes terra- 
rum terminos novae gentes saepe ex usu et aliquando 
cum damno quaeruntur, usque ad Vespasiani duravit 
imperivun. Hucusque Cornelius. — Orosius vii. 3. 7. 

5. Gordianus . . . lani portas aperuit : quas 
utrum post Vespasianum et Titum aliquis clauserit, 
neminem scripsisse memini, cum tamen cas ab ipso 
Vespasiano post annum apertas Cornelius Tacitus 
prodat. — Orosius vii. 19. 4. 

6. Nam quanta fuerint Diurpanei, Dacorum regis, 
cum Fusco duce proelia quantaeque Romanormn 
clades, longo textu evolverem, nisi Cornelius Tacitus, 
qui banc historiam diligentissime contexuit, de reti- 
cendo interfectorum numero et Sallustium Crispum 
et alios auctores quam plurimos sanxisse et se ipsum 
idem potissimum elegisse dixisset. — Orosius vii. 10. 4. 

7. Theodosius . . . maximas illas Scythicas gentis 
formidatasque cunctis maioribus, Alexandro quoque 
illi Magno, sicut Pompeius Corneliusque testati sunt, 
evitatis . . ., hoc est Alanos Hunos ct Gothos, 
incunctanter adgressus magnis multisque proebis 
vicit. — Orosius vii. 34. 5. 

8. Hi vero (Locri), qui iuxta Delphos colunt, 
Ozolae nuncupantur . . . qui autem Lybiam delat 
sunt, Nasamones appellantur, ut Cornebus Tacitus 
refert, oriundi a Narycus etc. Servii Comment, in 
Verg. Aen. iii. 399 = I. p. 413, Thilo. 



1 A.D. 242. 

^ Cornelius Fuscus {vid. index), who under Domitian suffered 
a serious defeat at the hands of the Dacians. Cf. Suet., 
Domit. 6; Martial, Epig. vi. 76; Die Cass. Ixvii. 6. 

^ Pompeius Trogus, whose history is preserved in the 
abridgment by Justin. 

322 



FRAGMENTS OF THE HISTORIES 

4. Next, to quote the words of Cornelius Tacitus, 
" the gate of Janus, that had been opened when 
Augustus was old, remained so while on the very 
boundaries of the world new peoples were being 
attacked, often to our profit and sometimes to our 
loss, even do\\Ti to the reign of Vespasian." Thus 
far Comehus. 

5. Gordianus . . . opened the gates of Janus : ^ 
as to the question whether anyone closed them after 
^'espasian and Titus, I can recall no statement by 
any historian; yet Comehus Tacitus reports that 
they were opened after a year by Vespasian himself. 

6. For the mighty battles of Diurpaneus, king of 
the Dacians, with the Roman general Fuscus,^ and 
the mighty losses of the Romans I should now set 
forth at length, if Cornehus Tacitus, who composed 
the histoiy of these times Avith the greatest care, 
had not said that Sallustius Crispus and very many 
other historians had approved of passing over in 
silence the number of our losses, and that he for his 
own part had chosen the same course before all 
others. 

7. Those vast Scythian peoples whom all our 
ancestors and even the famous Alexander the Great 
had feared and avoided according to the testimony 
of Pompeius ' and Cornelius ... I mean the Alans, 
the Huns, and the Goths, Theodosius attacked with- 
out hesitation and defeated in many great battles. 

8. But these (Locrians) who hve near Delphi are 
called the Ozohans . . . ; however, those who moved 
to Lybia have the name of Nasomones, as Cornelius 
Tacitus reports, being sprung from the Narycii. 



223 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 
BOOK I 



VOL, II. 



INTRODUCTION 

Since the life of Tacitus has already been sketched 
in Mr. Moore's introduction to the Histories, a brief 
account may suffice here. Brevity, indeed, is a 
necessity ; for the ancient evidence might almost be 
compressed into a dozen lines, nor has even the 
industry or imagination of modern scholars been able 
to add much that is of value to this exiguous material. 

For the parentage of the greatest of Roman his- 
torians no Aptness can be called, nor was the famous 
name Cornelius, vulgarized by Sulla's numerous 
emancipations, a patent of nobility in the first century 
of the Christian era. The elder Phny, however, was 
acquainted with a Roman knight, Cornelius Tacitus, 
who held a procuratorship in Belgic Gaul,^ and 

^ H.N. VII. 16, 76. The passage is characteristic enough 
to deserve transcribing : — Invenimus in tnonumentis Salamine 
Euthymenis filium in tria ctibita triennio addevisse, inctssa 
larduin, sensu hebetem, puherem etiam factum voce robusUi, 
ahaumptuin coniraclione membroruvi suhita triennio circumacto. 
IjMi non pridem vidimus eadem fere omnia praeter pubertatem in 
filio Comeli Taciti, equitia Bomani, Belgicae Galliae raliones 
procurantis. — The fact that the emperor il. Claudius Tacitus 
(276 A.D.) claimed kinship with the historian may well be the 
sole reason that his works have survived. See Vopisc. Tac. 
10 : — Cornelium Taciturn, scriptorem historiae Augustae, quod 
parcniem suum eundem diceret, in omnibus bibliothecis c<mlocari 
iu-ssit, et ne lectorum incuria deperiret, librum per annos 
isingalos decicns scribi publicitus in cunctis archii-s iussit ci in 
bibliothecis poni. 

227 

«2 



INTRODUCTION 

obviously there is a faint possibility that this may have 
been the father or an uncle of the historian. Be that 
as it may, a certain standard of inherited wealth and 
consequence is presupposed alike by his career and by 
his prejudices. The exact date of his birth is equally 
unknown, but he was senior by a few years to his 
intimate friend and correspondent, the younger 
Phny ; who states in a letter to him that he was in 
his eighteenth year at the time of the great eruption 
of Vesuvius which destroyed Pompeii, Herculaneum, 
and his uncle, in the late summer of 79 a.d. Cer- 
tainty is out of the question, yet the provisional 
date of 55 a.d., which harmonizes with the ascertain- 
able facts of his life, can hardly be far wide of the 
mark. 

Of his early youth nothing can be gathered but 
that he studied rhetoric " with surprising avidity 
and a certain juvenile fervour " ; his principal heroes 
and instructors being Marcus Aper and Julius 
Secundus, two of the characters in the Dialogus de 
Oratorihus?- We have PHny's testimony to his 
mastery of the spoken word,^ and throughout his 
works, quite apart from the " Dialogue," his unabated 
interest in the art is noticeable.^ 

The first certain date is 77 a.d., the consulate of 
Cm. Julius Agricola ; who was sufficiently impressed 
by the character and prospects of the young Tacitus 
to select him for the husband of his daughter, the 
marriage taking place on the expiry of his term of 

1 Dial. 2. 

2 E.g., Ep. II. 11, 17, respandit Cornelius Tacitus eloquen- 
tissime et, quod eximium orationi eius inest, aeiivtvs. 

^ For instance, in liis scattered obituary notices of famous 
orators. 

228 



INTRODUCTION 

office (78 A.D.).^ Matters are less clear when we come 
to his official career, which he describes as " owing 
its inception to Vespasian, its promotion to Titus, and 
its further advancement to Domitian." ^ The ques- 
tion is whether the first step mentioned was the 
quaestorship or a minor office, but the balance of 
probability seems to be that he was tribunus milittim 
laiiclavius jinder Vespasian, and quaestor under 
Titus: ^ under Domitian, by his own statement, he 
took part in The celebration of^the Se^iiTar Games 
(88Ta.d^7 in the double" capacity of praetor and 
quindecimw.* Between the quaestorship an^ the 
praetorship, however, must have lain — still in the 
principate of Domitian— either a tribunate or an 
aedileship, which may be assigned roughly to 84 a.d. 
Some two years after the praetorship, Tacitus 
with his ^^•ife left Rome, and in 93 a.d., when Agricola 
passed away — -felix opportunitate mortis — they were 
still absent. Service abroad is a natural explanation : 
that the service consisted in the governorship of a 
minor imperial pro%dnce, a highly plausible conjecture. 
In any case, the return to the capital folloNved shortly : 
for the striking references to the three last and most 
terrible years of Domitian are too clearly those of an 
eye-^^itness. He emerged from the Terror with life, 
also Mith the indelible memories of the few who " had 
outlived both others and themselves." ^ In the 



1 Agr. 9 fin. 2 Hist. I. 1. 

' A curious statement is made by Petrarch's friend Gugli- 
elmo da Pastrengo, rfe orig. rerum, fol. 18 : — Comelins Tacitus, 
quern Titus imperator suae praefecit bibliothecae, Augjisti gesta 
descripsit atqrte Domitiani (Voigt, Wiederbehbung d. class. 
Alteriums, T. 249). 

«.4nn. XT. 11. ' Agr. 2-3. 

229 



INTRODUCTION 

happier age of Nerva and Trajan, all — or virtually all 
— of his literary work was accomplished. His public 
life was crowned by the consulate in 97 or 98 a.d.,i 
when he pronounced the funeral panegyric on Ver- 
ginius Rufus, who some thirty years before had 
crushed Vindex and refused the throne proffered by 
his legions. In 100 a.d. he conducted with PHny 
the pi-osecution of the extortionate governor of 
Africa, Marius Priscus.^ This constituted the last 
recorded fact of his biography until it was revealed 
by an inscription from the Carian town of My las a ^ 
that he had attained the chief prize of the senatorial 
career by holding the proconsulate of Asia (probably 
between 113 and 116 a.d.). The year of his death is 
unknown, but it is impi'obable that he long survived 
the publication of the Annals in 116 a.d. 

So much for the man : as to the author, little space 
can be given here to the three minor works — the 
Dialogus de Oratoribus, the Agricola, and the Germayiia. 
The first of these ostensibly reproduces a conversation 
held in the house of Curiatius Maternus in the sixth 
year of Vespasian (74-75 a.d.), the discussion turning 
on the relative merits of the republican and imperial 
types of oratory : the author himself — described as 
admodum adulescens — is assumed to be present. The 
work, written in the neo-Ciceronian style, offers so 
sharp a contrast to the later manner of Tacitus that 
its authenticity was early called into question, first 

^ Plin. Ep. II. 1, 6. He was consul suffectus, and the year 
depends on the question whether the senator, who had been 
three times consul when Trajan refused a third consulate 
(Plin. Pan. 58), was or was not Verginius Rufus. 

* See Mayor on Juv. I. 49. 

=» Published in the Bulletin de correspondance helUniqiie, 1890. 

230 



INTRODUCTION 

by Beatus Rhenanus, then by Justus Lipsius, -vvith 
the full weight of his great name. Only in 1811 were 
the doubts dispelled by Lange's discovery that a 
letter from Pliny to Tacitus alludes unmistakably to 
the Dialogue.^ The date of composition presents one 
of those tempting, though ultimately insoluble 
problems, which hold so great a fascination for many 
scholars : the years proposed range from 81 a.d. 
(Gudeman) to 98 a.d. (Schanz), with Norden's 91 a.d. 
as a middle terai. 

For the fifteen years of Domitian historical com- 
position had ranked as a dangerous trade ,2 but in 
98 A.D., in the early days of Trajan, Tacitus broke 
silence with the biography, or panegyric, of his 
father-in-law, Agricola. Ample justice, to say the 
least, is measured out to the virtues of the hero ; and 
since he was numbered with those who declined to 
" challenge fame and fate " under Domitian,^ the 
Hght is naturally enough centred upon his administra- 
tive and military achievements in Britain. The 
brilhant, though perhaps too highly coloured, style 
shows already the influence of Sallust ; and the work 
is described by its author as the precursor of one 
which " in artless and rough-heA^ii language shall 
chronicle the slavery of the past and attest the felicity 
of the present." * 

But before this undertaking was at least partially 
fulfilled, the Agricola was followed, still in 98 a.d., by 

^ Plin. Ep. IX. 10 : itaque poemata quiescunt, quae tu inter 
neirwra et lucos commodissime perfici putas, as compared with 
Dial. 9 : adice quod poet is . . . in nemora et hicos . . . 
secedendum est (also ib. 12 : nemora vero et luci e.q.s.). 

" Agr.2i Suet. Dom. 10: D. Cass. LXVIT. 13. 

=» Agr. 42. ■• Agr. 3. 

231 



INTRODUCTION 

the Germama, a monograph whose fate has been, in 
Gibbon's words, " to exercise the diligence of innumer- 
able antiquarians, and to excite the genius and 
penetration of the philosophic historians of our own 
times." Its more immediate raison d'etre is probably 
to be sought in the fact that the German question 
was, at the time, pressing enough to keep Trajan 
from the capital during the whole of the period 
between the death of Nerva and 99 a.d. Judged 
from the standpoint of the geographer and the 
ethnologist, the Germania must be pronounced guilty 
of most of the sins of omission and commission to be 
expected in a work published before the dawn of the 
second century; but the materials, wi-itten and 
verbal, at the disposal of the writer must have been 
considerable, and the book is of equal interest and 
value as the first extant study of early Teutonic 
society. 

The foundation, however, on which the fame of 
Tacitus rests, is his history of the principate from the 
accession of Tiberius to the murder of Domitian. It 
falls into two halves, the Annals and the Histories 
(neither of which has descended to us intact), and 
the chronological order is reversed in the order of 
composition.! To follow the latter, the Histories — • 
as the name, perhaps, indicates ^ — comprise a 
chronicle of the author's own time : they are, in fact, 
the redemption of the promise made in the Agricola ; 
though the incondita ac rudis vox may be sought in 

1 The fact, obvious in itself, is explicitly stated in Ann. XI. 

11' 

2 Gall. V. 18. — ^That Historiae was the author's title may be 
fairly inferred from Tertull. Apol. 16 : Annales, on the other 
hand, has no authority. 

232 



INTRODUCTION 

vain, and the period there announced for treatment 
is in part expanded, in part contracted. For the 
praesentia bona, the golden years of Nerva and Trajan, 
are now reserved by the \^Titer to be the " theme of 
his age," ^ while the proposed account of Domitian's 
tyranny swells into the history, first, of the earth- 
quake that upheaved and engulfed Galba, Otho, and 
Vitelhus ; then, of the three princes of the Fla\ian 
dynasty. Between what years the work was written, 
when it was published, and whether by instalments or 
as a whole, the eWdence is as inadequate to determine 
as it is to resolve the endlessly debated question of 
the relationship between the narrative of Tacitus 
and that of Plutarch in the Lives of Galba and Otho.^ 
Phny, writing perhaps in 106 a.d., answers the request 
of his friend for details of the eruption of Vesuvius 
in 79 A.D. ; ^ and elsewhere, on his own initiative, 
suggests for inclusion in the book an incident of the 
year 93 a.d.* The exact number of books into which 
the Histories were divided is not certain, but is more 
likely to have been twelve than fourteen : ^ the first 
four survive in entirety, together with twenty-six 
chapters of the fifth ; the rest are known only by a 
few citations, chiefly from Orosius. The events 
embraced in the extant part are those of the twenty 
crowded months from Januarj'^, 69 a.d., to August, 
70 A.D. : we have lost, therefore, virtually the princi- 
pate of Vespasian, that of Titus, and that of Domitian. 
The language is now completely " Tacitean." 

1 HUl. I. 1. 

- The fullest English acconnt (though supporting a thesis) 
is that in E. G. Hardy's edition of the Lives in question 
(Introd. ix-lx). 

3 Ep. VT. 16 and 20. * Ep. VII. 33. « See later. 

233 



INTRODUCTION 

The Histories were followed in 116 a.d.^ by the 
Annals (libri ah excessu divi Augusti) ; Avhich, after a 
short introduction, open with the death of Augustus 
in 14 A,D., and closed in 68 a.d,, not, however, at the 
dramatically appropriate date of Nero's suicide (June 
8), but, in accordance with the annalistic scheme, at 
the year's end. The probable distribution of the 
books was hexadic, Tiberius claiming I-VI, Caligula 
and Claudius VII-XII, and Nero (Avith Galba) XIII- 
XVIII. 2 Of these there remain I-IV complete, 

^ Between the extension of the Empire to the Persian Gulf, 
under Trajan (115 a.d.), and the retrocession under Hadrian 

(117A.D.). 

2 It is known from Jerome {Comm. in Zach. iii. 4 : Cornelius 
Tacitus, qui post Augustum usque ad mortem Domitiani vitas 
Caesarum XXX voluminibus exaravit) that the combined 
books of the Annals and Histories amounted to thirty. The 
manuscript tradition of the former breaks short rather less 
than half-way through the sixteenth book, which it is still 
usual to reckon as the last — ^fourteen books being thus assigned 
to the Histories. On this assumption, the last book as a whole 
contained the events of 65 a.d. in part and 66—68 a.d. in full : 
the lost portion (about fifty chapters at most), those of 66 a.d. 
in part and 67-68 a.d. in full. But it is beyond all question 
that, upon the scale observed in the surviving part of the book, 
fifty chapters are a totally inadequate allowance for the 
dramatic and momentous period still to be dealt with. Hence 
the probability of the symmetrical arrangement (Annals, 
6 + 6 + 6 ; Histories, 6 + 6) advocated by Bitter, Hirschfeld, 
and Wolffiin. The objection, that even more than three and 
a half years have elsewhere been compressed by Tacitus into 
a single book, rests on the naive assumption that to the his- 
torian all years are periods of twelve months apiece. Indeed, 
to be convinced of the untenability of the traditional view, a 
man has only to read XVI. 21-35, and then to reflect that 
the self-same pen has yet to record the insurrection in Judaea 
with the rise of Vespasian and Titus, the imperial tour in 
ftreece, the execution of Corbulo, the rebellion of Vindex, the 
victorj' and great refusal of Verginins Rufus, the 'pronrinci- 



INTRODUCTION 

the first chapters of V, VI without the beginning, 
and XI-XVI. 35. Thiis our losses, though not so 
disastrous as in the case of the Histories, include 
none the less, about two years of Tiberius' reign, the 
whole of that of Cahgula, the earUest and best days 
of Claudius, and the latter end of Nero. Fate might 
perhaps have been blinder ; yet posterity might well 
renounce something of its knowledge of Corbulo's 
operations, could it view in return the colouring of 
two or three of those perished canvases — Sejanus 
forlorn in the Senate, hope rising aijd falUng vnih 
every complex period of the interminable epistle 
from Capreae — Cassius Chaerea, with his sword and 
his hoc age in the vaulted corridor — Sporus, Epaphro- 
ditus, and the last heir of the Juhan blood, in the 
villa at the fourth milestone. Still, what has been 
spared — how narrowly spared may be read in Voigt — • 
constitutes, upoft the whole, a clear title to immor- 
tahty : an amazing chronicle of an amazing era, 
brilliant, unfair, and unforgettable. The Annals 
are not as Galba was — magis extra vitia qiiam cum 
virtutibus. But the virtues are virtues for all time : 
the vices, those of an age. Exactitude, according to 
Pindar, dwelt in the town of the Zephyrian Locrians, 
but few of the ancients worshipped steadfastly at 
her shrine : they wTote history as a form of literature, 
and "with an undissembled ambition to be read. It 
would have been convenient, doubtless, had the 
Annals been equipped with a preliminary dissertation 

amiento of Galba, those scenes of Nero's fall and death which 
fire even the frigid pages of Suetonius, the leisurely progress 
of Galba's litter to the capital, the massacre of the marines, 
and the gathering of the clouds in Xovemher and December, 

•18 A.D. 



INTRODUCTION 

on the sources, a select bibliography, footnotes ^^ith 
references to the roll of Aufidius Bassus or the month 
and day of the Acta Publica : but the era of those 
blessings is not reckoned Ab Vrhe Condita ; and, Mith 
rare exceptions, we must acquiesce in the vague 
warranty of a plerique tradidere or a sunt quiferant, or, 
if here and there belief is difficult, then suspend our 
judgment. In the main, however, it is not the facts 
of Tacitus, but his interpretations, that awaken mis- 
giving. " I know of no other historian," said a 
latter-day consul and emperor, " who has so calum- 
niated and belittled mankind as he. In the simplest 
1 ransactions he seeks for criminal motives : out of 
every emperor he fashions a complete villain, and 
so depicts him that we admire the spirit of evil 
permeating him, and nothing more. It has been said 
with justice that his Annals are a history, not of the 
Empire, but of the Roman criminal tribunals — 
nothing save accusations and men accused, persecu- 
tions and the pei-secuted, and people opening veins in 
baths. He speaks continually of denunciations, and 
the greatest denouncer is himself." ^ That a streak 
of truth runs through the wild exaggerations can 
hardly be denied. Tacitus had not, and could not 
have, a charity that thinks no evil : Seneca, in words 

^ Schanz cites the passage in German (from Frohlich's 
Napoleon I, und seine Beziehungen zum klassischen Altertum, 
1882), and I am unable to refer to the French. — It may be 
noted in passing, however, that in this case, too, the uncle's 
views were piously adopted by the nephew : for during his 
imprisonment at Ham, the future Napoleon III, " speaking 
low " (to Louis Blanc) " lest the wind should carry the words 
to the gaoler," took the part of the " tyrants branded on the 
shoulders for ever by Tacitus." See Simpson, Rise of Louis- 
Napoleon, p. 218. 

236 



INTRODUCTION 

prophetic of his style, spoke of abrupiae sententiae et 
supiciosae, in quibits plus intellige/idum est quavi audi- 
endum; and never, perhaps, has that poisoned weapon 
been used more ruthlessly. Yet, of conscious dis- 
ingenuity a dispassionate reader finds no trace : the 
man, simply, has overpowered the historian. To 
write sine ira et studio even of the earlier priucipate, 
was a rash vow to be made by one who had passed his 
childhood under Nero and the flower of his manhood 
under Domitian. Nor, in any case, is it given to 
many Iiistorians — to none, perhaps, of the greatest — 
to comply with the precept of Lucian (repeated 
almost to the letter by Ranke) : — ^ToD avyypa- 
^€0)5 tpyov tv, ws iirpa.)(6ri etTreir. For not the most 

stubborn of facts can pass through the brain of a man 
of genius, and issue such as they entered. — One 
charge, it is noticeable. Napoleon does not make : it 
Avas reserved for Mommsen to style Tacitus " the \ 
most unmiUtary of historians " — a verdict to which | 
Fumeaux could only object that it was unjust to ' 
Liv}'. Both, it is true enough, lack the martial 
touch, and betray all too clearly that (Sv^XiaKTj e^is 
which Polybius abhorred. Yet even here they have 
one merit, generally withheld from the authentic 
mihtary historian, that, when they describe a battle, 
the reader is somehow conscious that a battle is 
being described. Mox infensius praetorianis " Vos " 
inquit, " nisi vincitis, pagani, quis alius imperator, quae 
castra alia excipient? Illic signa annaque vestra sunt, 
et mors victis : nam ignominiam consumpsistis." Vndique 
clamor, et orientem solem (ita in Syria vios esf) tertiani 
salutavere — the hues are not the wear, but it is possible 
to find them striking. 

It is usual to enumerate a few of the peculiarities 

237 



INTRODUCTION 

of Tacitus and his diction : on the one hand, for 
example, his trend to fatalism, his disdain of the 
multitude, his Platonic affection for the common- 
wealth, his Roman ethics, and his pessimism ; on the 
other, his brachylogy, his poetical and rhetorical 
effects, his dislike of the common speech of men, his 
readiness to tax to the uttermost every resource of 
Latin in the cause of antithesis or innuendo. Here 
no such catalogue can be attempted ; nor, if it could, 
would the utility be wholly beyond dispute. The 
personality of the author and his style must be felt 
as unities ; and it is a testimony to the greatness of 
both that they can so be felt after the lapse of 
eighteen centuries. How long they will continue 
to be felt, one must at whiles wonder. There Mas a 
time when, as Victor Hugo sang of another Empire, 

" Om se mit ajbuiller da7is ces gra?ides annees, 
Et vous applaudissiez, nations inclinees, 
Chaqiiefois qu'on tirait de ce sol soiiveram 
Ou U consul de marhre ou I'empereur d'airain." 

That fervour of the pioneers is no more ; the 
sovereign soil has rendered up its more glittering 
ti'easures, and the labourers, and their rewards, are 
already fewer. Yet, so long as Europe retains the 
consciousness of her origins, so long — by some at least 
— must the history of Rome be read in the Roman 
tongue, and not the least momentous part of it in 
the pages of Tacitus. 



The text of the first six books of the Annals 
dejiends entirely on the Mediceus primus (saec. IX) ; 
for the remainder, the authority is the Mediceus 

238 



I 



INTRODUCTION 

secundus (saec. XI) ; both are now in the Laurentian 
Library. For the details of their discovery the reader 
may be refei-red to ^ oigt {Wiederhelehimg u.s.w. I. 
p. 249 sqq.). The text of this edition is eclectic. 
In the first book the variations from the manuscript 
are recorded with some fulness: afterwards, in 
order to economize space, obvious and undisputed 
corrections, especially of the older scholars, are 
seldom noticed. 



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VOL. II. 



AB EXCESSU DIVI AUGUSTI 

P. CORNELII TACITI 

LIBER I 

I. \"rbem Romam a principio i-eges habucrc ; 
libertatem et consulatum L. Brutus instituit. Dic- 
taturae ad tempus sumebantur ; neque decemviralis 
potestas ultra biennium, neque tribunorum mili- 
tum consulare ius diu valuit. Non Cinnae, non Sullae 
longa dominatio ; et Pompei Crassique potentia 
cito in Caesarem, Lepidi atque Antonii arma in 
Augustum cessere, qui cuncta discordiis civilibus 
fessa nomine principis sub imperiuni accepit. Sed 
veteris populi Romani prospera vel adversa claris 
scriptoribus meniorata sunt ; temporibusque Au- 
gusti dicendis non defuere decora ingenia, donee 
gliscente adulatione deterrerentur. Tiberii Gaique 
et Claudii ac Neronis res florentibus ipsis ob metum 

: 1 

^ This rendering is generally so convenient as to be inevit- 
able, but the English reader should be careful to strip the 
word of its monarchical connotation. 

* The principal dates for the opening sentences are : — 
B.C. 753 Foundation of Rome; 509 Consulate of L. Brutus; 
451-450 (with part of 449) Decemvirate ; 445 Institution of 
Tribuni militum consulari potestate (found with little inter- 
ruption from 408 to 367) ; 87-84 Four Consulates of Cinna ; 

242 



THE ANNALS OF 
TACITUS 

BOOK I 

I. Rome at the outset was a city state under the 
government of kings : hberty and the consulate were 
institutions of Lucius Brutus. Dictatorships were 
always a temporary expedient : the decemviral 
office was dead within two years, nor was the consular 
authority of the military tribunes long-lived. Neither 
Cinna nor Sulla created a lasting despotism : Pompey 
and Crassus quickly forfeited their power to Caesar, 
and Lepidus and Antony their swords to Augustus, 
who, under the style of " Prince,"^ gathered beneath 
his empire a woi-ld outworn by civil broils.- But, 
while the glories and disasters of the old Roman 
commonwealth have been chronicled by famous pens, 
and intellects of distinction were not lacking to tell 
the tale of the Augustan age, until the rising tide of 
sycophancy deterred them, the histoi'ies of Tiberius 
and Caligula, of Claudius and Nero, were falsified 

82-79 Dictatorship of Sulla ; 53 Battle of Carrhae and death 
of Crassus ; 48 Battle of Pharsalia and death of Pompey (in 
Egypt) ; 36 Lepidus divested of his powers by Octavian : 
31 Defeat of Antony at Actium ; 27 Octavian receives the title 
of Augustus. 

r2 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

falsae, postquam occiderant recentibus odiis com- 
positae sunt. Inde consilium mihi pauca de Augus- 
to et extrema tradere, mox Tiberii principatum et 
cetera, sine ira et studio, quorum causas procul 
habeo. 

II. Postquam Bruto et Cassio caesis nulla iam 
publica arma, Pompeius apud Sicilian! oppressus, 
exutoquc Lepido, interfecto Antonio, ne lulianis 
quidem partibus nisi Caesar dux rcliquus, posito 
triumviri nomine, consulem se ferens et ad tuendam 
plebem tribunicio iure contentum, ubi militem 
donis, populum annona, cunctos dulcedine otii 
pellexit, insurgere paulatim, munia senatus, magis- 
tratuum, legum in se trahere, nullo adversante, 
cum ferocissimi per acies aut proscriptione ceci- 
dissent, ceteri nobilium, quanto quis servitio promp- 
tior, opibus et honoribus extollerentur ac novis ex 
rebus aucti, tuta et praesentia quam Vetera et peri- 
culosa mallent. Neque provinciae ilium rerum sta- 
tum abnuebant, suspecto senatus populique imperio 
ob certamina potentium et avaritiam magistratuum, 
invalido legum auxilio, quae vi, ambitu, postremo 
pecunia turbabantur. 

III. Ceterum Augustus subsidia dominationi Clau- 
dium Marcellum, sororis filium, admodum adu- 



^ Sextus Pompeius, defeated by Agrippa o£E Pelorum 
(C. di Faro) in 36 B.C. 

^ For this and the other names in the chapter see the 
table on p. 240. 

244 



BOOK I. i.-iii. 

through cowardice while they flourished, and com- 
posed, when they fell, under the influence of still 
rankling hatreds. Hence my design, to treat a small 
part (the concluding one) of Augustus' reign, then 
the principate of Tiberius and its sequel, without 
anger and without partiality, from the motives of 
which I stand sufliciently removed. 

II. When the killing of Brutus and Cassius had 
disarmed the Republic ; when Pompey had been 
crushed in Sicily,^ and, with Lepidus throMTi aside and 
Antony slain, even the Julian party was leaderless 
but for the Caesar ; after laying down his triumviral 
title and proclaiming himself a simple consul content 
with tribunician authority to safeguard the commons, 
he first conciliated the army by gratuities, the 
populace by cheapened corn, the world by the 
amenities of peace, then step by step began to make 
his ascent and to unite in his own person the functions 
of the senate, the magistracy, and the legislature. 
Opposition there was none : the boldest spirits had 
succumbed on stricken fields or by proscription-lists ; 
while the rest of the nobility found a cheerful 
acceptance of slaverj' the smoothest road to wealth 
and office, and, as they had thriven on revolution, 
stood now for the new order and safety in preference 
to the old order and adventure. Nor was the state 
of affairs unpopular in the provinces, where admini- 
stration by the Senate and People had been dis- 
credited by the feuds of the magnates and the greed 
of the officials, against which there was but frail 
protection in a legal system for ever deranged by 
force, by favouritism, or (in the last resort) by gold. 

III. Sleanwhile, to consolidate his power, Augustus 
raised Claudius MarcelluSj^ his sister's son and a mere 

245 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

lescentem pontificatu et curuli aedilitate, M. Agrip- 
pam, igiiobilem loco, bonum militia et victoriae 
socium, geminatis consulatibus extulit, mox defunc- 
to Marcello generum sumpsit; Tiberium Neronem 
et Claudiuni Drusum privignos iniperatoriis nomi- 
nibus auxit, integra etiam turn ^ domo sua. Nam 
genitos Agrippa Gaium ac Lucium in familiam Cae- 
sarum induxerat, necdum posita puerili praetexta 
principes iuventutis appellari, destinari ^ consules 
specie recusantis flagrantissime cupiverat. Vt Agrip- 
pa vita concessit, Lucium Caesarem euntem ad His- 
paniensis exercitus, Gaium remeantem Armenia 
et vulnere invalidum mors fato propera vel nover- 
cae Liviae dolus abstulit, Drusoque pridem exstincto, 
Nero solus e privignis erat, illuc cuncta vergere : 
filius, collega impei'ii, consors tribuniciae potes- 
tatis adsumitur omnisque per exei'citus ostentatur, 
non obscuris, ut antea, matris artibus, sed palam 
hortatu. Nam senem Augustum devinxerat adeo, 
uti nepotcm unicum, Agrippam Postumuni, in 
insulam Planasiam px'oiecerit,^ rudem sane bonarum 
artium et robore corporis stolide ferocem, nuUius 
tamen flagitii conpertum. At hercule Germaniciun, 
Druso ortum, octo apud Rhenum legionibus inposuit 
adscirique per adoptionem a Tiberio iussit, quam- 
quam essct in domo Tiberii filius iuvenis, sed quo 
pluribus munimentis ^ insisteret. Bellum ea tem- 

1 turn Wolf: dum, 

2 destinari AcidaUus : destinare. 
' proiecerit Ritler : proieceret. 

* munimentis Lipsius : monimentis. 

^ Now Pianosa, pretty nearly midway between Corsica and 
the coast of Tuscany. 

246 



BOOK I. in. 

^tripling, to the pontificate and curule aedileship: 
-Marcus Agrippa, no aristocrat, but a good soldier 
and his partner in victory, he honoured with two 
successive consulates, and a little later, on the death 
of Marcellus, selected him as a son-in-law. Each of 
his step-children, Tiberius Nero and Claudius Drusus, 
was given the title of Imperator, though his family 
proper was still intact : for he had admitted Agrippa 's 
children, Gaius and Lucius, to the Caesai-ian heai*th, 
and even during their minority had shown, under a 
veil of reluctance, a consuming desire to see them 
consuls designate with the title Princes of the 
Youth. When Agrippa gave up the ghost, untimely 
fate, or the treachery of their stepmother Livia, cut 
off both Ivucius and Caius Caesar, Lucius on his road 
to the Spanish armies, Caius — wounded and sick — 
on his return from Ai-menia. Drusus had long been 
dead, and of the stepsons Nero survived alone. On 
him all centred. Adopted as son, as colleague in the 
empire, as consort of the tribunician power, he was 
paraded through all the armies, not as before by the 
secret diplomacy of his mother, but openly at her 
injunction. For so fimily had she riveted her chains 
upon the aged Augustus that he banished to the isle 
of Planasia^ his one remaining grandson, Agrippa 
Postumus, who, though guiltless of a virtue, and 
confident brute-like in his physical strength, had been 
convicted of no open scandal. Yet, curiously 
enough, he placed Drusus' son Germanicus at the 
head of eight legions on the Rhine, and ordered 
Tiberius to adopt him : it was one safeguard the 
more, even though Tiberius had already an adult son 
under his roof. 

War at the time was none, except an outstanding 

247 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

pestate nullum nisi adversus Germanos supererat, 
abolendae magis infamiae ob amissum cum Quin- 
tilio Varo exercitum quam cupidine proferendi 
imperii aut dignum ob praemimn. Domi res tran- 
quillae, eadem magistratuum vocabula; iuniores 
post Actiacam victoriam, etiam senes plerique inter 
bella civium nati : quotus quisque reliquus, qui rem 
publicam vidisset ? 

IV. Igitur verso civitatis statu nihil usquam 
prisci et integri moris : omnes, exuta aequalitate, 
iussa principis aspectare, nulla in praesens formidine, 
dum Augustus aetate validus seque et domum et 
paeem sustentavit. Postquam provecta iam senec- 
tus aegro et corpore fatigabatur aderatque finis 
et spes novae, pauci bona libei-tatis in cassum dis- 
serere, plures bellum pavescere, alii cupere. Pars 
multo maxima imminentis dominos variis rumo- 
ribus difFerebant : trueem Agrippam et ignominia 
aecensvun, non aetate neque rerum experientia tan- 
tae moli parem ; Tiberium Neronem maturum 
annis, spectatum bello, sed vetere atque insita Clau- 
diae familiae superbia ; multaque indicia saevitiae, 
quamquam premantur, erumpere. Hunc et prima 
ab infantia eductum in domo regnatrice ; congestos 
iuveni consulatus, triumphos ; ne iis quidem annis 
quibus Rhodi specie secessus exul ^ egerit aliud ^ 
quam iram et simulationem et secretas lubidines 
meditatum. Accedere matrem muliebri inpotentia : 

^ exul Murelics : exulem. 
2 aliud Nipperdey : aliquid. 

1 Husband of a great-niece of Augustus, destroyed, with 
three legions (XVII-XIX), by Arminius in the forests of 
Westphmia (9 a.d.). 

248 



BOOK I. iii.-iv. 

campaign against the Germans, waged more to 
redeem the prestige lost with Quintihus Varus ^ 
and his army than from any wish to extend the 
empire or with any pi'ospect of an adequate recom- 
pense. At home all was calm. The officials carried 
the old names ; the younger men had been born after 
the victory of Actium ; most even of the elder 
generation, during the civil wars : few indeed were 
left who had seen the Republic. 

IV. It was thus an altered world, and of the old, 
unspoilt Roman character not a trace lingered. 
Equality was an outworn creed, and all eyes looked 
to the mandate of the sovereign — with no immediate 
misgivings, so long as Augustus in the full vigour of 
his prime upheld himself, his house, and peace. But 
when the wearing effects of bodily sickness added 
themselves to advancing years, and the end was 
coming and new hopes dawning, a few voices began 
idly to discuss the blessings of freedom ; more were 
apprehensive of war ; others desired it ; the great 
majority merely exchanged gossip derogatory to 
their future masters: — " Agrippa, fierce-tempered, 
and hot from his humiliation, was unfitted by age and 
experience for so heavy a burden. Tiberius Nero 
vvas mature in years and tried in war, but had the 
old, inbred arrogance of the Claudian family, and 
hints of cruelty, strive as he would to repress them, 
kept breaking out. He had been reared from the 
cradle in a regnant house ; consulates and triumphs 
had been heaped on his youthful head : even during 
the years when he lived at Rhodes in ostensible 
retirement and actual exile, he had studied nothing 
save anger, hypocrisy, and secret lasciviousness. 
Add to the tale his mother •with her feminine 

249 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

scrviendum feminae duobusque insuper adulcscen- 
tibus qui rem publicam interim premant quandoque 
distrahant. 

V. Haec atque talia agitantibus gravescex'e vale- 
tudo August! et quidam scelus uxoris suspecta- 
bant. Quippe rumor incesserat paucos ante mensis 
Augustum, electis conseiis et comite uno Fabio 
Maximo, Planasiam vectum ad visendum Agrip- 
pam ; multas illic uti'imque lacrimas et signa cari- 
tatis spemque ex eo fore ut iuvenis penatibus avi 
redderetur : quod Maximum uxori Marciae aperuisse, 
illam Liviae. Gnarum ^ id Caesari ; neque multo post 
extincto Maximo, dubium an quaesita morte, audi- 
tos in funere eius Marciae gemitus semet incusantls 
quod causa exitii mai'ito fuisset. Vtcumque se ea 
res liabuit, vixdum ingressus Filyricum Tiberius pro- 
peris matris litteris accitur ; neque satis conper- 
tum est, spirantem adhuc Augustum apud urbem 
Nolam an exanimem rcppererit. Acribus namque 
custodiis domum et vias saepserat Livia, laetique 
interdum nuntii vulgabantur, donee provisis quae 
tempus monebat simul excessisse Augustum et 
rerum potiri Nei'onem fama eadem tulit. 

\T. Primum facinus novi principatus fuit Pos- 
tumi Agrippae caedes, quern ignarum inei*mumque 

^ gnarum IJpsiiis : gnavnm (primilus cnavum). 
^ August 19, 14 A.n. 



BOOK I. iv.-vi. 

caprice : they must be slaves, it appeared, to the 
distaff, and to a pair of striplings as well, who in the 
interval would oppress the state and in the upshot 
rend it asunder I " 

y. While these topics and the like were under 
discussion, the malady of Augustus began to take a 
graver turn; and some suspected foul play on the 
part of his wife. For a rumour had gone the round 
that, a few months earlier, the emperor, confiding 
in a chosen few, and attended only by Fabius Maxi- 
mus, had sailed for Planasia on a visit to Agrippa. 
" There tears and signs of affection on both sides had 
been plentiful enough to raise a hope that the youth 
might yet be restored to the house of his grand- 
father. Maximus had disclosed the incident to his 
wife Marcia ; Marcia, to Livia. It had come to the 
Caesar's knowledge ; and after the death of Maxi- 
mus, which followed shortly, possibly by his own 
hand, Marcia had been heard at the funeral, sobbing 
and reproaching herself as the cause of her husband's 
destruction." Whatever the truth of the affair, 
Tiberius had hardly set foot in lUyricum, when he 
was recalled by an urgent letter from his mother; 
and it is not certainly known whether on reaching the 
town of Xola, he found Augustus still breathing or 
lifeless. For house and street were jealously 
guarded by Livia's ring of pickets, while sanguine 
notices were issued at intervals, until the measui'es 
dictated by the crisis had been taken : then one 
report announced simultaneously that Augustus had 
passed away and that Xero was master of the empire.^ 

\'I. JDie opening crime of thejaew principate was 
the murder of Agrippa Postumus ; who, though oFlus 
guard and without weapons, was with difficulty dis- 



THR ANNALS OF TACITUS 

quamvis finnatus animo centuvio aegre confecit. 
Nihil de ea re ^ Tiberius apud senatum disseriiit : 
patris iussa simulabat, quibus praescripsisset tri- 
bune custodiae adposito ne cunetaretur Agrippam 
morte adficere quandoque ipse supremum diem 
explevisset. Multa sine dubio saevaque Augustus 
de moribus adulescentis questus, ut exilium eius 
senatus consulto sanciretur, perfecerat; ceterum in 
nullius uniquam suoi'um necem duravit, neque 
mortem nepoti pro securitate privigni inlatam cre- 
dibile erat. Propius vero Tiberium ac Liviam, ilium 
metu, banc novercalibus odiis, suspecti et invisi 
iuvenis caedem festinavisse. Nuntianti centurioni, 
ut mos militiae, factum esse quod imperasset, neque 
imperasse sese et rationem facti reddendam apud 
senatum respondit. Quod postquam Sallustius Cris- 
pus particeps secretorum (is ad tribunum miserat 
codicillos) comperit, metuens ne reus subderetur, 
iuxta periculoso ficta seu vera promeret, monuit 
Liviam ne arcana domus, ne consilia amicorum, 
ministeria militum vulgarentur, neve Tiberius vim 
principatus resolveret cuncta ad senatum vocando : 
earn condicionem esse imperandi, ut non aliter ratio 
constet quam si uni reddatur. 

Vn. At Romae ruere in servitium consules, 

1 oa re Beroaldus : aerc. 

^ See the sketch of him in III. 30. 

2 " Weil vieles geschehen muss, was nur der, zu dessen 
Vorteil es geschieht, billigen kann " (Nipperdey). The verbal 
point of Crispns' apophthegm lies in the double sense of 
rationem reddere (see just above). 

252 



BOOK I. vi.-vn. 

patched by a resolute centurion. In the senate 
Tiberius made no reference to the subject: his pre- 
tence was an order from his father, instructing the 
tribune in charge to lose no time in making away with 
his prisoner, once he himself should have looked his 
last on the world. It was beyond question that by 
his frequent and bitter strictures on the youth's 
character Augustus had procured the senatorial 
decree for his exile : on the other hand, at no time 
did he harden his heart to the killing of a relative, and 
it remained incredible that he should have sacrificed 
the life of a grandchild in order to diminish the 
anxieties of a stepson. More probably, Tiberius 
and Livia, actuated in the one case by fear, and in 
the other by stepmotherly dislike, hurriedly procured 
the murder of a youth whom they suspected and 
detested. To the centurion who brought the usual 
military report, that his instructions had been 
carried out, the emperor rejoined that he had given 
no instructions and the deed would have to be 
accounted for in the senate. The remark came to 
the ears of Sallustius Crispus.^ A partner in the 
imperial secrets — it was he who had forwarded the 
note to the tribune — he feared the charge might be 
fastened on himself, with the risks equally great 
whether he spoke the truth or lied. He therefore 
advised Livia not to publish the mysteries of the 
palace, the counsels of her friends, the services of the 
soldiery ; and also to watch that Tiberius did not 
weaken the powers of the throne by referring every- 
thing and all things to the senate : — " It was a con- 
dition of sovereignty that the account balanced only 
if rendered to a single auditor." ^ 

Yll. At Rome, however, consuls, senators, and 

253 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

patres, eques. Quanto quis iulustrior, tanto magis 
falsi ac festinantes, vultuque composite, ne laeti 
excessu principis neu tristiores ^ primordio, lacrimas, 
gaudium, questus, adulationem ^ miscebant. Sex. 
Pompeius et Sex. Appuleius consules primi in verba 
Tiberii Caesaris iuravere, apudque eos Seius Strabo 
et G. Turranius, ille praetoriarum cohortium prae- 
fectus, hie annonae ; mox senatus milesque et popu- 
lus. Nam Tiberius cuncta per consules incipiebat, 
tamquam vetere re publica et ambiguus imperandi : 
ne edictum quidem, quo patres in curiam vocabat, 
nisi tribuniciae potestatis praescriptione posuit sub 
Augusto acceptae. Verba edicti fuere pauca et 
sensu permodesto : de honoribus parentis consul- 
turum, neque abscedere a corpore, idque unum ex 
publicis muneribus usurpare. Sed, defuncto Augusto, 
signum praetoriis cohortibus ut imperator dederat ; 
excubiae, arma, cetera aulae ; miles in forum, miles 
in curiam comitabatur. Litteras ad exercitus tam- 
quam adepto principatu misit, nusquam cuncta- 
bundus nisi cum in senatu loqueretur. Causa prae- 
cipua ex formidine, ne Germanicus, in cuius manu tot 
legiones, immensa sociorum auxilia, mirus apud 
populum favor, habere imperium quam exspectare 



' tristiores Beroaldus : tristior, 

- adulationem Heinsius : adulatione. 



254 



BOOK I. VII. 

knights were rushing into slaver}-. The more 
exalted the personage, the grosser his hypocrisy and 
his haste, — his Uneaments adjusted so as to betray- 
neither cheerfulness at the exit nor undue depression 
at the entry of a prince ; his tears blent with joy, his 
regrets with adulation. The consuls, Sextus Pom- 
peius and Sextus Appuleius, first took the oath of 
allegiance to Tiberius Caesar. It was taken in their 
presence by Seius Strabo and Caius Turranius, chiefs 
respectively of the praetorian cohorts and the corn 
department. The senators, the soldiers, and the 
populace followed. For in every action of Tiberius 
the first step had to be taken by the consuls, as 
though the old republic were in being, and himself 
undecided whether to reign or no. Even his edict, 
convening the Fathers to the senate-house was issued 
simply beneath the tribunician title which he had 
received under Augustus. It was a laconic document 
of very modest purport: — " He intended to provide 
for the last honours to his father, whose body he 
could not leave — it was the one function of the state 
which he made bold to exercise." Yet, on the^ 
passing of Augustus he had given the watchword to ' 
*ilid praetorian cohorts as Imperator ; he had the 
sentries, the men-at-arms, and the other appurten- 
ances of a court ; soldiers conducted him to the 
forum, soldiers to the curia ; he dispatched letters to 
the armies as if the principate was already in his 
grasp ; and nowhe re manifested the least h esitation, 
except w hen speaking, in the senate. The cHier 
reason was his fear that Gemianicus — ^backed by so 
many legions, the vast reserves of the provinces, and 
a wonderful popularity with the nation — might 
prefer the ownership to the reversion of a throne. 

255 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

mallet. Dabat et famae, ut vocatus electusque po- 
tius a re publica videretur quam per uxorium am- 
bitum et senili adoptione inrepsisse. Postea cogni- 
tum est ad introspiciendas etiam procerum voluntates 
indutam ^ dubitationem : nam verba, vultus in 
crimen detorquens recondebat. 

VIII. Nihil primo senatus die agi passus est ^ nisi 
de supremis Augusti, cuius testamentum inlatum 
per virgines Vestae Tiberium et Liviam heredes 
habuit. Livia in familiam luliam nomenque Augus- 
tum adsumebatur; in spem secundam nepotes 
pronepotesque, tertio gradu primores civitatis scrip- 
serat, plerosque invisos sibi, sed iactantia gloriaque 
ad posteros. Legata non ultra civilem modum, 
nisi quod populo et plebi quadringenties tricies 
quinquies, praetoriarum cohortium militibus sin- 
gula nummum inilia, urbanis quingenos,^ legionariis 
aut cohortibus civium Romanorum trecenos nummos 
viritim dedit. Turn consultatum de honoribus ; 
ex quis qui * maxime insignes visi, ut porta triumphali 
duceretur funus Gallus Asinius, ut legum latarum 
tituli, victarum ab eo gentium vocabula antefer- 
rentur, L. Arruntius censuere. Addebat Messala 
Valerius renovandum per annos sacramentuui in 

^ indutam J. F. Gronovius : inductam. 

* pasaus est Nipperdey : passus. 

^ urbanis quingenos Sauppe : om. 

* quis qui Bezzenberger : quis. 



^ Cohorts (normally of Italian volunteers — ingenuorum, 
vduntariorum) attached to no particular legion, but otherwise 
on a parity with the legionaries. Over thirty of them have 
been traced in the imperial age. 

256 



BOOK I. vn.-vni. 

He paid public opinion, too, the compliment of wish- 
ing to be regarded as the called and chosen of the 
state, rather than as the interloper who had wormed 
his way to power with the help of connubial intrigues 
and a senile act of adoption. It was realized later 
that his coyness had been assumed with the further 
object of gaining an insight into the feelings of the 
aristocracy : for all the while he was distorting words 
and looks into crimes and storing them in his memory. 

\'III. The only business which he alloAved to be 
discussed at the fii-st meeting of the senate was the 
funeral of Augustus. The will, brought in by the 
Vestal Virgins, specified Tiberius and Livia as heirs, 
Livia to be adopted into the Julian family and the 
Augustan name. As legatees in the second degree 
he mentioned his grandchildren and great-grand- 
children ; in the third place, the prominent nobles — 
an ostentatious bid for the applause of posterity, 
as he detested most of them. His bequests were not 
above the ordinary ci\'ic scale, except that he left 
43,500,000 sesterces to the nation and the populace, 
a thousand to every man in the praetorian guards, N 
five hundred to each in the urban troops, and three ' 
hundred to all legionaries or members of the Roman 
cohorts.^ " 

The question of the last honours was then de- 
bated. The two regarded as the most striking 
were due to Asinius Gallus and Lucius Arruntius — 
the former proposing that the funeral train should 
pass under a triumphal gateway ; the latter, that the 
dead should be preceded by the titles of all laws 
which he had carried and the names of all peoples 
Mhom he had subdued. In addition, Valerius 
Messalla suggested that the oath of allegiance to 

257 

VOL. II. s 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

uomen Tiberii; interrogatusque a Tiberio num se 
mandante earn sententiam prompsisset, sponte 
dixisse respondit, neque in iis quae ad rem publi- 
cam pertinerent consilio nisi suo usurum, vel cum 
periculo ofFensionis : ea sola species adulandi super- 
erat. Conclamant patres corpus ad rogum umeris 
senatorum ferendum. Remisit Caesar adroganti 
moderatione, populumque edicto monuit ne, ut 
quondam nimiis studiis funus divi lulii turbassent, 
ita Augustum in foro potius quam in campo Martis, 
sede destinata, cremari vellent. Die funeris milites 
velut praesidio stetere, multum inridentibus qui 
ipsi viderant quiqufe a parentibus acceperant diem 
ilium crudi adhuc servitii et libertatis inprospere 
repetitae,^ cum occisus dictator Caesar aliis pes- 
simum, aliis pulcherrimum facinus videretur : nunc 
senem principem, longa potentia, provisis etiam 
heredum in rem publicam opibus, auxilio scilicet 
militari tuendum, ut sepultura eius quieta foret. 

IX. Multus hinc ipso de Augusto sermo, pie- 
risque vana mirantibus quod idem dies accepti 
quondam imperii princeps et vitae supremus, quod 
Nolae in domo et cubiculo in quo pater eius Octa- 
vius vitam finivisset. Numerus etiam consulatuum 
celebrabatur, quo Valerium Corvum et C. Marium 

^ inprospere repetitae Lipaiua : inprospera repetita. 



^ The Mausolexim, which he had built in hia sixth consulate 
(28 B.C.) in the northern part of the Campus Martius, between 
the Flaminian Road and the Tiber. 



258 



BOOK I. viii.-ix. 

Tiberius should be renewed annually. To a query 
from Tiberius, whether that expression of opinion 
came at his dictation, he retorted — it was the one 
form of flattery still left — that he had spoken of his 
o^^'n accord, and, when public interests were in 
question, he would (even at the risk of giving offence) 
use no man's judgment but his own. The senate 
clamoured for the body to be carried to the pyre on 
the shoulders of the Fathers. The Caesar, with 
haughty moderation, excused them from that duty, 
and warned the people by edict not to repeat_the 
enthusiastic excesses which on a former day had 
marred the funeral of the deified Julius, by desfring ■ 
Augustus to be cremated in the Forum rather than in ■ 
the Field of Mars, his appointed resting-place.^ 

On the day of the ceremony, the troops were drawn 
up as thougli on guard, amid the jeers of those who 
had seen ynih their eyes, or whose fathers had 
declared to them, that day of still novel servitude 
and freedom disastrously re-wooed, when the killing 
of the dictator Caesar to some had seemed the worst, 
and to others the fairest, of high exploits : — " And 
now an aged prince, a veteran potentate, who had 
seen to it that not even his heirs should lack for 
means to coerce their country, must needs have 
military protection to ensure a peaceable burial ! " 

IX. Then tongues became busy with Augustus 
himself. Most men were struck by trivial points — 
that one day should have been the first of his sove- 
reignty and the last of his life — that he should have 
ended his days at Nola in the same house and room 
as his father Octavius. Much, too, was said of the 
number of his consulates (in which he had equalled 
the combined totals of Valerius Corvus and Caius 

259 

82 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

simul aequaverat ; continuata per septem et tri- 
ginta annos tribunicia potestas, nomen iniperatoris 
semel atque vicies partum aliaque honorum multi- 
plicata aut nova. At apud prudentis vita eius varie 
extollebatur arguebaturve. Hi pietat# erga paren- 
tem ct necessitudine rei publicae, in qua nullus tunc 
legibus locus, ad arma civilia actum, quae neque 
parari possent neque haberi per bonas artis. Multa 
Antonio, dum ^ interfectores patris ulcisceretur,^ 
multa Lepido concessisse. Postquam hie socordia 
senuerit, ille per libidines pessum datus sit, non aliud 
discordantis patriae remedium fuisse quam ut ab ^ 
uno regeretur. Non regno tamen neque dictatura, 
sed principis nomine constitutam rem publicam ; mari 
Oceano aut amnibus longinquis saeptum imperium ; 
legiones, provincias, classis, cuncta inter se conexa ; 
ius apud civis, modestiam apud socios : urbem ip- 
sam magnifico ornatu ; pauca admodum vi tractata 
quo ceteris quies esset. 

X. Dicebatur contra : pietatem erga parentem 
et tempora rei publicae obtentui sumpta ; cete- 
rum cupidine dominandi concitos per largitionem 
veteranos, paratum ab adulescente privato exer- 
citum, corruptas consulis legiones, simulatam Pom- 
peianarum gratiam partium ; mox ubi decreto 
patrum fascis et ius praetoris invaserit, caesis Hirtio 

^ diim Muretus : tunc. 

^ ulcisceretur Beroaldus : ulciscerentur. 

^ quam ut Ferretti : quam. 

1 Thiiteeu (= 6 + 7). ^ ^f Antony (44 B.C.). 

260 



BOOK I. ix.-x. 

Marius),^ his tribunician power unbroken for thirty- 
seven years, his title of Imperator twenty-one times 
earned, and his other honours, multiphed or new. 
Among men of intelligence, however, his career was 
praised or arraigned from varying points of view. 
According to some, " filial duty and the needs of a 
country, which at the time had no room for law, had 
driven him to the weapons of civil strife — weapons 
which could not be either forged or wielded with 
clean hands. He had overlooked much in Antonv, 
much in Lepidus, for the sake of bringing to book the 
assassins of his father. When Lepidus grew old and 
indolent, and Antony succumbed to his vices, the 
sole remedy for his distracted country was govern- 
ment by one man. Yet he organized the state, not 
by instituting a monarchy or a dictatorship, but by 
creating the title of First Citizen. The empire had 
been fenced by^ the ocean or distant rivers. The 
legions, the provinces, the fleets, the whole adminis- 
tration, had been centralized. There had been law 
for the Roman citizen, respect for the allied com- 
munities ; and the capital itself had been embellished 
with remarkable splendour. Very few situations had 
been treated by force, and then only in the interests 
of general tranquillity." 

X. On the other side it was argued that " filial 
duty and the critical position of the state had been 
used merely as a cloak : come to facts, and it was from 
the lust of dominion that he excited the veterans by 
his bounties, levied an army while yet a stripling 
and a subject, seduced the legions of a consul,^ and 
affected a leaning to the Porapeian side. Then, 
following his usurpation by senatorial decree of the 
symbols and powers of the praetorship, had come the 

261 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

et Pansa, sive hostis illos, seu Parisam venenum 
vulneri adfusum, sui railites Hirtium et machina- 
tor doli Caesar abstulei'at, utriusque copias occupa- 
visse ; extortum invito senatu consulatum, armaque 
quae in Antonium acceperit contra rem publicam 
versa ; proscriptionem civium, divisiones agrorum 
ne ipsis quidem qui fecere laudatas. Sane Cassii 
et Brutorum exitus paternis inimicitiis datos.. quam- 
quam fas sit privata odia publieis utilitatibus remit- 
tere : sed Pompeium imagine pacis, sed Lepidum 
specie amicitiae deceptos; post Antonium, Taren- 
tino Brundisinoque foedere et nuptiis sororis inlec- 
tum, subdolae adfinitatis poenas morte exsolvisse. 
Pacem sine dubio post haec, verum cruentam : 
Lollianas Varianasque cladis, interfectos Romae 
Vavrones, Egnatios, luUos.^ Nee domesticis abs- 
tinebatur: abducta Neroni uxor et consulti per 
ludibrium pontifices an concepto necdum edito 
partu rite nuberet ; Vedii ^ Pollionis luxus ; postre- 
mo Livia gravis^ in rem publicam mater, gravis 

^ lullos Andresen (post Lipsium, ut alibi) : lulios. 
* Vedii Mommsen : que tedii et Vedii. 
2 gravis Beroaldus : gravius. 



^ Mutina (44 B.C.). "The rumour gained currency that 
both had perished by his agency; so that with Antony in 
flight and the commonwealth bereft of its consuls, he might 
as sole victor seize the command of three armies " (Suet. 
Aug. 11). 

2 To the soldiery : see Virg. Ed. I. IX. 

3 The treaty of Misenum between Octavian, Antony, and 
Sextus Pompeius (39 B.C.) ; not kept, and followed next year 
by war. 

* Brundisian treaty (practically dividing the Roman world 
between Octavian and Antony), 40 B.C. : Tarentine, 37 n.c. 

262 



BOOK I. X. 

deaths of Hirtius andPansa,^ — whether they perished 
by the enemy's sword, or Pansa by posion sprinkled 
on his wound, and Hirtius by the hands of this own 
soldiery, with the Caesar to plan the treason. At all 
events, he had possessed himself of both their 
armies, wrung a consulate from the un%villing senate, 
and turned against the commonwealth the arms 
which he had received for the quelling of Antony. 
The proscription of citizens and the assignments of 
land 2 had been approved not even by those who 
executed them. Grant that Cassius and the Bruti were 
sacrificed to inherited enmities — though the moral 
law required that private hatreds should give way 
to public utility — yet Pompey was betrayed by the 
simulacrum of a peace, ^ Lepidus by the shadow of 
a friendship : then Antony, lured by the Tarentine 
and Brundisian treaties* and a marriage with his 
sister, had paid with life the penalty of that delusive 
connexion. After that there had been undoubtedly 
peace, but peace with bloodshed — the disasters of 
Lollius^ and of Varus, the execution at Rome of a 
Varro, an Egnatius, an luUus."* His domestic 
adventures were not spared : the abduction of Nero's 
wife, and the farcical question to the pontiffs, whether, 
with a child conceived but not yet born, she could 
legally wed ; the debaucheries of Vedius Pollio ; ' 
and, lastly, Livia, — as a mother, a curse to the reahn ; 

* Defeated with the loss of an eagle in Germany, 16 B.C. 

• Varro Murena and Egnatius Ruf us, executed for conspiracy 
in 23 B.C. and 19 B.C. respectively : lullus Antonius, son of 
the triumvir, compelled to suicide in 2 B.C. for adultery v.ith 
Julia (see below, chap. 53). 

' A Roman knight of obscure origin and great wealth, said 
to have thrown slaves to his lampreys : a friend of Augustus. 
See D. Cass. LIV. 23, with Fabricius' notes ad loc. 

263 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

domui Gaesarum noverca. Nihil deorum honoribus 
relictum, cum se templis et effigie numinum per 
flamines et sacerdotes eoli vellet. Ne Tiberium 
quidem caritate aut rei publicae cura successorem 
adscitum, sed, quoniara adrogantiam saevitiamque 
eius introspexerit, comparatione deterrima sibi 
gloriam quaesivisse. Etenim Augustus, paucis ante 
annis, cum Tiberio tribuniciam potestatem a patribus 
rursum postularet, quamquam honora oratione, 
quaedam de habitu cultuque et institutis eius 
iecerat, quae velut excusando exprobraret. Ce- 
terum sepultura more perfecta, templum et caelestes 
religiones decernuntur. 

XI. Versae inde ad Tiberium preces. Et ille 
varie ^ disserebat de magnitudine imperii, sua modes- 
tia. Solam divi Augusti mentem tantae molis capa- 
cem : se in partem curarum ab illo vocatum expe- 
riendo didicisse quam arduum, quam subiectum 
fortunae regendi cuncta onus. Proinde, in civitate 
tot illustribus viris subnixa, non ad unum omnia defer- 
rent : plures facilius munia rei publicae sociatis labo- 
ribus exsecutiu'os. Plus in oratione tali dignitatis 
quam fidei erat ; Tiberioque, etiam in rebus quas non 
occuleret, seu natura sive adsuetudine, suspensa sem- 
per et obscura verba; tunc vero nitenti ut sensus 

^ varie BeroaMiis : variae. 

^ Because, in the one capacity, she had borne Tiberius, 
and, in the other, was credited with procuring the deaths of 
Gains and Luciiis Caesar. 

264 



BOOK I. x.-xi. 

as a stepmother, a curse to the house of the Caesars.^ 
" lie had left small room for the worship of heaven, 
when he claimed to be himself adored in temples and 
in the image of godhead by flamens and by priests ! 
Even in the adoption of Tiberius to succeed him, his 
motive had been neither personal affection nor regard 
for the state : he had read the pride and cruelty of 
his heart, and had sought to heighten his own glory by 
the vilest of contrasts." For Augustus, a few years 
earher, when requesting the Fathers to renew the 
grant of the tribunician power to Tiberius, had in the 
course of the speech, comphmentary as it was, let 
fall a few remarks on his demeanour, dress, and habits 
which were offered as an apology and designed for 
reproaches. 

However, his funeral ran the ordinary course ; 
and a decree followed, endowing him with a temple 
and divine rites. 

XI. Then all prayers were directed towards 
Tiberius ; who delivered a variety of reflections on 
the greatness of the empire and his own diffidence : — 
*■' Only the mind of the deified Augustus was equai to 
such a burden : he himself had found, when called 
by the sovereign to share his anxieties, how arduous 
how dependent upon fortune, was the task of ruling 
a world ! He thought, then, that, in a state which 
had the support of so many eminent men, they ought 
not to devolve the entire duties on any one person ; 
the business of government would be more easily 
carried out by the joint efforts of a number." A 
speech in this tenor was more dignified than con- 
vincing. Besides, the diction of Tiberius, by habit 
or by nature, was always indirect and obscure, evev 
when he had no wish to conceal his thought; and 

2b\ 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

suos penitus abderet, in incertum et ambiguum 
magis implicabantur. At patres, quibus unus meces 
si intellegere viderentur, in questus, lacrimas, vota 
efFundi; ad deos, ad effigiem Augusti, ad genua 
ipsius manus tendere, cum proferri libellum recitari- 
que iussit. Opes publicae continebantur, quantum 
civium sociorumque in armis, quot classes, regna, 
provinciae, tributa aut vectigalia, et necessitates ac 
largitiones. Quae cuncta sua manu perscripserat 
Augustus addideratque consilium coercendi intra 
terminos imperii, incertum metu an per invidiam. 

XII. Inter quae senatu ad infimas obtestationes 
procumbente dixit forte Tiberius se ut non toti 
rei publicae parem, ita quaecumque pars sibi man- 
daretur, eius tutelam suscepturum. Tum Asinius 
Gallus '' Interrogo," inquit, " Caesar, quam partem 
rei publicae mandari tibi velis." Perculsus inpro- 
visa interrogatione paulum reticuit; dein, collecto 
aninio, respondit nequaquam decorum pudori sue 
legere aliquid aut evitare ex eo, cui in universum 
excusari mallet. Rursum Gallus (etenim vultu offen- 
^sionem coniectaverat) non idcirco interrogatum, ait, 
^t divideret quae separari nequirent, sed ut^ sua 
confessione argueretur unum esse rei publicae cor- 
pus atque unius animo regendum. Addidit laudem 

^ ut Lipsius : et. 

^ One of three left by Augustus ; the first dealing with his 

own funeral arrangements ; the second (known in part from 

the Monumentum Ancyranum), a record of his achievements ; 

the third (here meant), a breviarinm totius imperii (Suet, 

A%q. 101). 

a66 



BOOK I. xi.-xii. 

now, in the effort to bury every trace of his senti- 
ments, it became more intricate, uncertain, and 
equivocal than ever. But the Fathers, whose one 
dread was that they might seem to comprehend him, 
melted in plaints, tears, and prayers. They were 
stretching their hands to heaven, to the effigy of 
Augustus, to his o^\ti knees, when he gave orders for 
a document^ to be produced and read. It contained 
a statement of the national resources — the strength 
of the burghers and allies under arms ; the number 
of the fleets, protectorates, and pro\'inces ; the taxes 
direct and indirect ; the needful disbursements and 
customary bounties : all catalogued by Augustus in 
his own hand, with a final clause (due to fear or 
jealousy?) advising the restriction of the empire 
^vithin its present frontiers. 

XII. The senate, meanwhile, was descending to 
the most abject supplications, when Tiberius casually 
observed that, unequal as he felt himself to the whole 
weight of government, he would still undertake the 
charge of any one department that might be assigned 
to him. Asinius Gallus then said: — " I ask you, 
Caesar, what department you wish to be assigned 
you," This unforeseen inquiry threw him off his 
balance. He was silent for a few moments ; then 
recovered himself, and answered that it would not 
at all become his diffidence to select or shun any part 
of a burden from which he would prefer to be wholly 
excused. Gallus, who had conjectured anger from 
his look, resumed : — " The question had been put to 
him, not with the hope that he would di\-ide the 
inseparable, but to gain from his o\vn lips an admission 
that the body politic was a single organism needing 
to be governed by a single intelligence." He added 

267 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

de Augusto Tiberiumque ipsum victoriarum suarum, 
quaeque in toga pei* tot annos egregie fecisset ad- 
monuit. Nee ideo irani eius lenivit, pridem invisus, 
tamquam dueta in matrimonium Vipsania, M. Agrip- 
pae filia, quae quondam Tiberii uxor fuerat, plus 
quam civilia agitaret Pollionisque Asinii pati-is 
ferociam retineret. 

XIII. Post quae L. Arruntius baud multum dis- 
crepans a Galli oratione perinde ofFendit, quam- 
quam ^ Tiberio nulla vetus in Arruntium ira : sed 
divitem, promptum, artibus egregiis et pari fama 
publice, suspectabat. Quippe Augustus supremis 
sermonibus, cum tractaret quinam adipisci princi- 
pem loeum suffecturi abnuerent, aut inpares vellent, 
vel idem possent cuperentque, M'.^ Lepidum dixerat 
capacem, sed aspernantem, Galium Asinium avidum 
et minorem, L. Arruntium non indignum et, si casus 
daretur, ausurum. De prioribus consentitur, pro 
Arruntio quidam Cn, Pisonem tradidere ; omnesque 
praeter Lepidum variis mox criminibus struente 
Tiberio circumventi sunt. Etiam Q. Haterius et 
Mamercus Scaurus suspicacem animum perstrin- 
xei'e, Haterius cum dixisset : " Quo usque patieris, 
Caesar, non adesse caput ^ rei publicae? " Scaurus 
quia dixerat spem esse ex eo non inritas fore senatus 
preces, quod relationi consulum iure tribuniciae 
potestatis non intercessisset. In Haterium statim 

^ quamquam Beroaldus : quam. 
2 M'. Lipsius : M. ^ caput Rhenanus : aput te. 

^ This assertion is hardly borne out by Tacitus liimself. j 
In the case of Piso, it runs counter to his whole narrative ; in \ 
that of Arruntius, he half acquits Tiberius at \T. 47 ; while 
thirteen j'ears were to elapse before the arrest of Gallus, and ■ 
sixteen before his execution. 

268 



BOOK I. xii.-xiii. 

a panegyric on Augustus, and urged Tiberius to 
remember his own victories and the briUiant work 
which he had done year after year in the garb of 
peace. He failed, however, to soothe the imperial 
anger : he had been a hated man ever since his 
marriage to \'ipsania (daughter of Marcus Agrippa, 
and once the wife of Tiberius), which had given the 
impression that he had ambitions denied to a subject 
and retained the temerity of his father Asinius 
PolUo. 

XIII. Lucius Arruntius. who followed in a vein not 
much unlike that of Gallus, gave equal offence, 
although Tiberius had no standing animosity against 
him : he was, however, rich, enterprising, greatly 

fifted, correspondingly popular, and so suspect, 
or Augustus, in his last conversations, when dis- 
cussing possible holders of the principate — those 
who were competent and disinclined, who were 
inadequate and willing, or who were at once able and 
desirous — had described Manius Lepidus as capable 
but disdainful, Asinius Gallus as eager and unfit, 
Lucius Arruntius as not undeserving and bold 
enough to venture, should the opportunity arise. 
vThe first two names are not disputed ; in some 
versions Arruntius is replaced by Gnaeus Piso : all 
concerned, apart from Lepidus, were soon entrapped 
on one charge or another, promoted by Tiberius.^ 
Quintus Haterius and Mamercus Scaurus also jarred 
that suspicious breast — Haterius, by the sentence, 
" How long, Caesar, will you permit the state to lack 
a head ? " and Scaurus, by remarking that, as he had 
jiot used his tribunician power to veto the motion of 
the consuls, there was room for hope that the prayers 
of the senate would not be in vain. Haterius he 

269 



THE ANNALS OF TAGITUS 

invectus est ; Scaurum, cui inplacabilius irascebatur, 
silentio tramisit. Fessusque clamore omnium, ex- 
postulatione singulorum flexit paulatim, non ut 
fateretm* suscipi a se imperium, sed ut negare et 
rogari desineret. Constat Haterium, cum depre- 
candi causa Palatium introisset ambulantisque Tibe- 
rii genua advolveretur, prope a militibus interfec- 
tuni, quia Tiberius casu an manibus eius inpeditus 
prociderat. Neque tamen periculo talis viri miti- 
gatus est, donee Haterius x\ugustam oraret eiusque ^ 
curatissimis precibus protegeretur. 

XIV. Multa patrum et in Augustam adulatio : 
alii parentem, alii matrera patriae appellandam, 
plerique ut nomini Caesaris adscriberetur " luliae 
filius " censebant, Ille moderandos feminarum 
honores dictitans eademque se temperantia usu- 
rum in iis ^ quae sibi tribuerentur, ceterum anxius 
invidia et muliebre fastigium in deminutionem sui 
accipiens, ne lictorem quidem ei decerni passus est, 
aramque adoptionis et alia huiusce modi prohi- 
buit. At Germanico Caesari proconsulare impe- 
rium petivit, missique legati qui deferrent, simul 
maestitiam eius ob excessum Augusti solarentur. 
Quo minus idem pro Druso postularetur, ea causa 



^ eiusque Lipsius : et usque. 
* lis Muretus : his. 



^ i.e., of her adoption infamiliam luliam nomenqtie Augustum 
(chap. 8). 

* Not; he ordinary proconsular imperium of the governor 
of a senatorial province, but a renewal of the imperium mains 
in Gaul and Germany, which he had held for three years. 



270 



BOOK I. xiii.-xiv. 

favoured with an immediate invective : against 
Scaurus his anger was less placable, and he passed 
him over in silence. Wearied at last by the universal 
outcry and by individual appeals, he gradually gave 
ground, up to the point, not of acknowledging that he 
assumed the sovereignty, but of ceasing to refuse 
and to be entreated. Haterius, it is well known, on 
entering the palace to make his excuses, found 
Tiberius walking, threw himself down at his knees, 
and was all but dispatched by the guards, because 
the prince, either from accident or through being 
hampered by the suppliant's hands, had fallen flat 
on his face. The danger of a great citizen failed 
however, to soften him, until Haterius appealed to 
Augusta, and was saved by the urgency of her 
prayers. 

XIV. Augusta herself enjoyed a full share of 
senatorial adulation. One party proposed to give 
her the title " Parent of her Country " ; some pre- 
ferred, "Mother of her Country": a majority 
thought the qualification " Son of Julia " ought to 
be appended to the name of the Caesar. Declaring 
that official compliments to women must be kept 
within bounds, and that he would use the same 
forbearance in the case of those paid to himself 
(in fact he was fretted by jealousy, and regarded 
the elevation of a woman as a degradation of himself), 
he declined to allow her even the grant of a lictor, 
and banned both an Altar of Adoption ^ and other 
proposed honours of a similar nature. But he asked 
proconsular powers ^ for Germanicus Caesar, and a 
commission was sent out to confer them, and, at the 
same time, to console his grief at the death of 
Augustus. That the same demand was not preferred 

271 



THE ANNALS OF TAGITUS 

quod designatus consul Drusus praesensque erat. 
Candidates praeturae duodecim nominavit, nume- 
rum ab Augusto traditum ; et hortante senatu ut 
augeret, iure iurando obstrinxit se non excessu- 
rum. 

XV. Turn primum e campo comitia ad patres 
translata sunt; nam ad earn diem, etsi potissima 
arbitrio principis, quaedam tamen studiis tribuum 
fiebant. Neque populus ademptum ius questus est 
nisi inani rumore, et senatus, largitionibus ac pre- 
cibus sordidis exsolutus, libens tenuit, moderante 
Tiberio ne plures quam quattuor candidates com- 
mendaret sine repulsa et ambitu designandos. 
Inter quae tribuni plebei petivere ut proprio sump- 
tu ederent ludos, qui de nomine Augusti, fastis additi, 
Augustales vocarentur. Sed decreta pecunia ex 
aerario, utque per circum triumphali veste uteren- 
tur : curru vehi haud permissum. Mox celebratio 
ad^ praetorem translata, cui inter civis et peregrines 
iurisdictio evenisset. 

XVI. Hie rerum urbanarum status erat, cum 
Pannonicas legienes seditio incessit, nullis novis 
causis, nisi quod mutatus princeps licentiam turba- 
rum et ex civili belle spem praemierum estendebat. 

1 ad Bitter : annum (annua Lipsius, vulgo) ad. 

^ For as consul designate, and present, he would have 
been placed in the invidious position of voting first on the 
question of his own preferment. 

^ Out of the twelve whom he nominated for the praetorship. 

37« 



BOOK I. xiv.-xvi. 

on behalf of Drusus was due to the circumstance that 
he was consul designate and in presence.^ 

For the praetorship Tiberius nominated twelve 
candidates, the number handed do\^Ti by Augustus. 
The senate, pressing for an increase, was met 
by a declaration on oath that he would never 
exceed it. 

XV. The elections were now for the first time 
transferred from the Campus to the senate : up to 
that day, while the most important were detennined 
by the will of the sovereign, a few had still been left 
to the predilections of the Tribes. From the people 
the withdrawal of the right brought no protest 
beyond idle murmurs ; and the senate, relieved from 
the necessity of buying or begging votes, was glad 
enough to embrace the change, Tiberius limiting 
himself to the recommendation of not more than four 
candidates,^ to be appointed without rejection or 
competition. At the same time, the plebeian 
tribunes asked leave to exhibit games at their own 
expense— to be called after the late emperor and j 
added to the calendar as the Augustalia. It was j: 
decided, however, that the cost should be borne by 
the treasury ; also, that the tribunes should have the 
use of the triumphal robe in the Circus: the chariot 
was not to be permissible. The whole function, 
before long, was transferred to the praetor who 
happened to have the jurisdiction in suits between 
natives and aliens. 

XVI. So much for the state of affairs in the 
capital: now came an outbreak of mutiny among 
the Pannonian legions. There were no fresh 
grievances ; only the change of sovereigns had excited 
a vision of licensed anarchy and a hope of the emolu- 

273 

VOL. II. T 



THE ANNALS. OF TACITUS 

Castris aestivis tres simul legiones habebantur, 
praesidente lunio Blaeso, qui, fine August! et ini- 
tiis Tiberii auditis, ob iustitium aut gaudium inter- 
miserat solita munia. Eo principio lascivire miles ; 
discordare, pessimi cuiusque sermonibus praebere 
auris, denique luxum et otium cupere, disciplinam 
et laborem aspernari. Erat in castris Percennius 
quidam, dux olim theatralium operarum, dein 
gregarius miles, procax lingua et miscere coetus 
histrionali studio doctus. Is xmperitos animos et 
quaenam post Augustum militiae condicio ambi- 
gentis inpellere paulatim nocturnis conloquiis, aut, 
flexo in vesperam die et dilapsis ^ melioribus, deter- 
rimum quemque congregate. 

XVII. Postremo promptis iam et aliis seditionis 
ministris velut contionabundus ^ interrogabat cur 
paucis centurionibus, paucioribus tribunis in modum 
servorum oboedirent. Quando ausuros exposcere 
remedia, nisi novum et nutantem adhuc principem 
precibus vel armis adirent? Satis per tot annos 
ignavia peccatum, quod tricena aut quadragena sti- 
pendia senes et plerique truncato ex vulneribus 
corpore tolerent. Ne dimissis quidem finem esse 
militiae, sed apud vexillum tendentis^ alio vocabulo 

^ dilapsis Muretus : delapsis. 

* contionabundus Beroaldus : conditionabundus. 

' tendentes Jac. Oronovius : t... | tentes. 

274 



BOOK I. xvi.-xvn. 

merits of civil war. Three legions were stationed 
together in summer-quarters under the command 
of Junius Blaesus. News had come of the end of 
Augustus and the accession of Tiberius ; and Blaesus, 
to allow the proper interval for mourning or festivity, 
had suspended the normal round of duty. With 
this the mischief began. The ranks grew insub- 
ordinate and quarrelsome — gave a hearing to any 
glib agitator — became eager, in short, for luxury 
and ease, disdainful of discipline and work. In the 
camp there was a man by the name of Percennius, 
in his early days the leader of a claque at the theatres, 
then a private soldier with an abusive tongue, whose 
experience of stage rivalries had taught him the art 
of inflaming an audience. Step by step, by con- 
versations at night or in the gathermg twiUght, he 
began to play on those simple minds, now troubled by 
a doubt how the passing of Augustus would affect 
the conditions of seriice, and to collect about him the 
off-scourings of the army when the better elements 
had dispersed. 

XVII. At last, when they were ripe for action — 
some had now become his coadjutors in sedition — 
he put his question in something Uke a set speech : — 
" Why should they obey like slaves a few centurions 
and fewer tribunes ? WTien would they dare to 
claim redress, if they shrank from carrying their 
petitions, or their swords, to the still unstable throne 
of a new prince ? Mistakes enough had been made 
in all the years of inaction, when white-haired men, 
many of whom had lost a limb by wounds, were 
making their thirtieth or fortieth campaign. Even 
after discharge their warfare was not accomplished : 
still under canvas by the colours they endured the 

275 
t2 



THE ANNALS OF TAGITUS 

eosdem labores perferre. Ac si quis tot casus vita 
superaverit, trahi adhuc diversas in terras, ubi per 
nomen agrorum uligines paludum vel inculta mon- 
tium accipiant. Enimvero militiam ipsam gravem, 
infructuosam : denis in diem assibus animam et 
corpus aestimari ; hinc vestem, arma, tentoria ; 
hinc saevitiarn centurionum et vacationes munerum 
redimi. At hercule verbera et vulnera, duram hie- 
mem, exercitas aestates, bellum atrox aut sterilem 
pacem sempiterna. Nee aliud levamentum quam 
si certis sub legibus militia iniretur, ut singulos 
denarios mererent, sextus decumus stipendii annus 
finem adferret, ne ultra sub vexillis tenerentur, sed 
isdem in casti'is praemium pecunia solveretur. 
An praetorias cohortis, quae binos denarios acce- 
perint,^ quae post sedecim annos penatibus suis 
reddantur, plus periculorum suscipere ? Non obtrec- 
tari a se urbanas excubias : sibi tamen apud horridas 
gentis e contuberniis hostem aspici. 

XVIII. Adstrepebat vulgus, diversis incitamentis, 
hi verberum notas, illi canitiem, plurimi detrita 

^ acceperint Beroaldus : accepit. 

^ In 16 B.C., Augustus, the creator of the standing army, 
fixed the period of service at sixteen consecutive years for the 
legionaries and twelve for the guards. Two decades later, the 
terms were prolonged to twenty and sixteen years respectively, 
at the end of which the time-expired man was entitled to a 
monetary bounty in lieu of the grant of land which had been 
the rule for the past half-centtiry. Veterans choosing, after 
discharge, to remain in the service were kept, not with the 
standard (signum), but under colours of their own (vexillum) ; 
whence the aliiid vocabulum, as Percennius puts it, of vexillarii. 
Theoretically, at least, they were exempt from the routine 
work of the legionaries, and formed a species of corps d'elite 
of seasoned fighting meH. 

276 



BOOK I. xvii.-xviii. 

old drudgeries under an altered name.^ And suppose 
that a man survived this multitude of hazards : he 
was dragged once more to the ends of earth to receive 
under the name of a ' farm ' some swampy morass 
or barren mountain-side. In fact, the whole trade 
of war was comfortless and profitless : ten asses a day 
was the assessment of body and soul : with that they 
had to buy clothes, weapons and tents, bribe the 
bullying centurion and purchase a respite from duty !- 
But whip-cut and sword-cut, stern \\inter and 
harassed summer, red war or barren peace, — these, 
God knew, were always vriih them. Alle\dation 
there would be none, till enlistment took place under 
a definite contract — the pa}Tnent to be a denarius a 
(lay,^ the sixteenth year to end the term of service, 
no further period with the reserve to be required, but 
the gratuity to be paid in money in their old 
camp. Or did the praetorian cohorts, who had 
received two denarii a day — who were restored to 
liearth and home on the expiry of sixteen years — 
risk more danger ? They did not disparage sentinel- 
duty at Rome; still, their o\vn lot was cast among 
savage clans, with the enemy visible from their 
very tents." 

XVIII. Tlie crowd shouted approval, as one point 
or the other told. Some angrily displayed the marks 
of the lash, some their grey hairs, most their thread- 

- For a commentary on this sentence see the Histories I. 
40. 

' In the Second Punic War the value of the as sank from a 
tenth to a sixteenth of the denarius. As the troops still 
received the same fraction (a third) of the denarius, their pay 
was now oj asses a day , the amount was doubled by Julias 
Caesar, and stood thenceforward at 10 asses, the fraction 
being neglected. Percennius now demands the full denarivs (a 
day-labourer's wage) of 16 asses. 

277 



THE ANNALS OF TAGITUS 

tegmina et nudum corpus exprobrantes. Postremo 
eo furoris venere, ut tres legiones miscere in unam 
agitaverint. Depulsi aemulatione, quia suae quis- 
que legioni eum honorem quaerebant, alio vertunt 
atque una tres aquilas et signa cohortium locant; 
simul congerunt caespites, exstruunt tribunal, quo 
magis cohspicua sedes foret. Properantibus Blaesus 
advenit, inerepabatque ac retinebat singulos, cla- 
mitans : " Mea potius caede imbuite manus : leviore 
flagitio legatum interficietis quam ab imperatore 
desciscitis. Aut incolumis fidem legionum retinebo, 
aut iugulatus paenitentiam adcelerabo." 

XIX. Aggerabatur ^ nihilo minus caespes iamque 
pectori usque ^ adcreverat, cum tandem pervica- 
cia victi inceptum omiscre. Blaesus multa dicendi 
arte non per seditionem et turbas desidei-ia mili- 
tum ad Caesarem ferenda ait : neque veteres ab 
imperatoribus priscis, neque ipsos a divo Augusto 
tam nova petivisse ; et parum in tempore incipien- 
tis principis curas onei'ari. Si tamen tender ent in 
pace temptare quae ne civilium quidem bellorum 
victores expostulaverint, cur contra morem obse- 
quii, contra fas disciplinae vim meditentur? Decer- 
nerent legatos seque coram mandata darent. Ad- 
clamavere ut filius Blaesi tribunus legatione ea 

^ aggerabatur Walther : aggerebatur. 
^ usque Beroaldus : eiusque. 

^ i.e. the standards of the three maniples in each cohort — 
thirty in each legion. 

278 



BOOK I. xvm.-xix. 

bare garments and naked bodies. At last they 
came to such a pitch of frenzy that they proposed 
to amalgamate the three legions into one. Baffled 
in the attempt by mihtary jealousies, since each man 
claimed the privilege of survival for his omti legion, 
they fell back on the expedient of planting the three 
eagles and the standards of the cohorts^ side by side. 
At the same time, to make the site more conspicuous, 
they began to collect turf and erect a platform. 
They were working busily when Blaesus arrived. 
He broke into reproaches, and in some cases dragged 
the men back by force. " Dye your hands in my 
blood," he exclaimed; " it Mill be a slighter crime 
to kill your general than it is to revolt from your 
emperor. Ahve, I will keep my legions loyal, or, 
murdered, hasten their repentance." 

XIX. None the less, the turf kept mounting, and 
had risen fully breast-high before his pertinacity 
carried the day and they abandoned the attempt. 
Blaesus then addressed them with great skill: — 
" Mutiny and riot," he observed, " were not the best 
ways of conveying a soldier's aspirations to his 
sovereign. No such revolutionary proposals had been 
submitted either by their predecessors to the captains 
of an earher day or by themselves to Augustus of 
happy memory ; and it was an ill-timed proceeding 
to aggravate the embarrassments which confronted 
a prince on his accession. But if they were resolved 
to hazard during peace claims unasserted even by the 
victors of the civil wars, why insult the principles 
of discipline and the habit of obedience by an appeal 
to \iolence ? They should name deputies and give 
them instructions in his presence." The answer came 
in a shout, that Blaesus' son — a tribune — should 

279 



THK ANNALS OF TACITUS 

fungeretur peteretque militibus missionem ab sede- 
cim annis ; cetera mandaturos, ubi prima provenis- 
sent. Profecto iuvene, modicum otium : sed super- 
bire miles, quod filius legati orator publicae causae 
satis ostenderet necessitate expressa quae per modes- 
tiam non obtinuissent. 

XX. Interea manipuli, ante coeptam seditionem 
Nauportum missi ob itinera et pontes et alios usus, 
postquam turbatum in castris accepere, vexilla 
convellunt direptisque proximis vicis ipsoque Nau- 
porto, quod municipii instar erat, retinentis centu- 
riones inrisu et contumeliis, postremo verberibus 
insectantur, praecipua in Aufidienum Rufum prae- 
fectum castrorum ira, quem dereptum vehiculo 
sarcinis gravant aguntque primo in agmine, per 
ludibrium rogitantes an tam immensa onera, tarn 
longa itinera libenter ferret. Quippe Rufus din 
manipularis, dein centurio, mox castris prae- 
fectus, antiquam duramque militiam revocabat, 
vetus ^ operis ac laboris, et eo inmitior quia tole- 
raverat. 

XXI. Horum adventu redintegratur seditio et 
vagi circuiyiiecta populabantur, Blaesus paucos, 
maxime praeda onustos, ad terrorem ceterorum adfici 
verberibus, claudi cai-cere iubet; nam etiam turn 

^ vetus Lipsius : intus. 

^ Ober-Laybach, some ten miles to the south-west of 
Laybach (the Jugoslav Ljubljana). 

^ A new class of officers, rendered necessary by the creation 
of the standing army with its permanent camps for the legions. 
Found only in the first two centuries after Christ, and re- 
cruited largely from centurions of long service, their disci- 
plinary powers did not, in strictness, extend to capital punish- 
ment (see below, chap. 38). 

280 



BOOK I. xix.-xxi. 

undertake the mission and ask for the discharge of 
all soldiers of sixteen years' service and upwards : 
they would give him their other instructions when 
the first had borne fruit. The young man's departure 
brought comparative quiet. The troops, however, 
were elated, as the sight of their general's son plead- 
ing the common caiise showed plainly enough that 
force had extracted what would never have been 
yielded to orderly methods. 

XX. Meanwhile there were the companies dis- 
patched to Nauportus ^ before the beginning of the 
mutiny. They had been detailed for the repair of 
roads and bridges, and on other service, but the 
moment news came of the disturbance in camp, they 
tore down their ensigns and looted both the neigh- 
bouring villages and Nauportus itself, which was 
large enough to claim the standing of a town. The 
centurions resisted, only to be assailed with jeers and 
insults, and finally blows ; the chief object of anger 
being the camp-marshal, Aufidienus Rufus ; who. 
dragged from his car, loaded with baggage, and 
driven at the head of the column, was plied with 
sarcastic inquiries whether he found it pleasant to 
support these huge burdens, these weary marches. 
For Rufus, long a private, then a centurion, and 
latterly a camp-marshal,^ was seeking to reintroduce 
the iron discipline of the past, habituated as he was 
to work and toil, and all the more pitiless because 
he had endured. 

XXI. The arrival of this horde gave the mutiny 
a fresh lease of life, and the outlying districts began 
to be overrun by wandering marauders. To cow the 
rest — for the general was still obeyed by the cen- 
turions and the respectable members of the rank 

28£ 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

legato a centurionibus et optimo quoque manipu- 
larium parebatur. lUi obniti trahentibus, prensare 
circumstantium genua, ciere modo nomina singu- 
lorum, modo centuriam quisque cuius manipularis 
erat, cohortem, legionem, eadem omnibus inminere 
clamitantes. Simul probra in legatum cumulant, 
caelum ac deos obtestantur, nihil reliqui faciunt quo 
minus invidiam, misericordiam, metum et iras 
permoverent. Adcxn-ritur ab universis, et carcere 
efFracto solvunt vincula desertoresque ac rerum 
capitalium damnatos sibi iam miscent. 

XXII. Flagrantior inde vis, plures seditioni 
duces, Et Vibulenus quidam, gregarius miles, ante 
tribunal Blaesi adlevatus circumstantium umeris, 
apudturbatos et quidpararetintentos : " Vosquidem" 
inquit " his innocentibus et miserrimis lucem et spi- 
ritum reddidistis : sed quis fratri meo vitam, quis 
fratrem mihi reddit ? quem missum ad vos a Germa- 
nico exercitu de communibus commodis nocte pro- 
xima iugulavit per gladiatores suos, quos in exitium 
militum habet atque armat. Responde, Blaese, 
ubi cadaver abieceris ^ : ne hostes quidem sepultura 
invident. Cum osculis, cum lacrimis dolorem meuni 
implevero, me quoque trucidari iube, dum interfectos 
nullum ob scelus, sed quia utilitati legionum consu- 
lebamus, hi ^ sepeliant." 

XXIII. Incendebat^ haec fletu et pectus atque os 

^ abieceris Beroaldus : ablegeris. 

^ hi Lipsius : ii. 

2 incendebat Beroaldus : incedebat. 



^ Actually, in order to give exhibitions in the province : 
custom afterwards prohibited by Nero (XIII. 31). 

282 



BOOK I. xxi.-xxni. 

and file — Blaesus ordered a few who were especially 
heavy-laden with booty to be lashed and thrown into 
the cells. As the escort dragged them away, they 
began to struggle, to catch at the knees of the 
bystanders, to call on the names of individual 
friends, their particular century, their cohort, their 
legion, clamouring that a similar fate was imminent 
for all. At the same time they heaped reproaches 
on the general and invoked high heaven, — anything 
and everything that could arouse odium or sympathy, 
alarm or indignation. The crowd flew to the rescue, 
forced the guard-room, unchained the prisoners, and 
now took into fellowship deserters and criminals 
condemned for capital offences. 

XXII. After this the flames burned higher; 
sedition found fresh leaders. A conamon soldier, 
\'ibulenus by name, was hoisted on the shoulders of 
the bystanders in front of Blaesus* tribunal, and there 
addressed the turbulent and curious crowd: — 
" You, I grant," he said, " have restored light and 
breath to these innocent and much Avronged men ; 
but who restores the hfe to my brother — who my 
brother to me ? He vras sent to you by the army of 
Germany to debate our common interest — and 
yesterday night he did him to death by the hands of 
those gladiators whom he keeps and arms for the 
extermination of his soldiers.^ Answer me, Blaesus : 
— Whither have you flung the body? The enemy 
himself does not grudge a grave! Then, when I 
have sated my sorrow with kisses, and drowned it 
with tears, bid them butcher me as well: only, let 
our comrades here lay us in earth — for we died, not 
for crime, but because we sought to serve the legions." 

XXIII. He added to the inflammatory effect of 

283 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

manibus verberans. Mox disiectis quorum per 
umeros sustinebatur, praeceps et singulorum pedibus 
advolutus, tantum consternationis invidiaeque conci- 
vit, ut pars militum gladiatores, qui e servitio Blaesi 
erant, pars ceteram eiusdem familiam vincirent, 
alii ad quaerendum corpus efFunderentur. Ac ni 
propere neque corpus ullum reperiri, et servos adhi- 
bitis cruciatibus abnuere caedem, neque illi fuisse 
umquara fratrem pernotuisset, baud multum ab 
exitio legati aberant. Tribunos tamen ac praefec- 
tum castrorum extrusere, sarcinae fugientium direp- 
tae, et centurio Lucilius interficitur, cui militaribus 
facetiis vocabulum " cedo alteram " indiderant, 
quia, fracta vite ^ in tergo militis, alteram clara voce 
ac rursus aliam poscebat. Ceteros latebrae texere, 
uno retento Clemente lulio, qui perferendis mili- 
tum mandatis habebatur idoneus ob pvomptum 
ingenium, Quin ipsae inter se legiones oetava et 
quinta decuma ferrum parabant, dum centurio- 
nem cognomento Sii'picum ilia morti deposcit, 
quintadecumani tuentur, ni miles nonanus preces 
et adversum aspernantis minas interiecisset. 

XXIV, Haec audita quamquam abstrusum et 

tristissima quaeque maxime occultantem Tiberium 

perpulere, ut Drusum filium cum primoribus civi- 

tatis duabusque praetoriis cohortibus mitteret, 

^ fracta vite Berodldus : facta vitae. 

^ Tlie vine-rod, the familiar emblem of the centurionship. 
284 



I 



BOOK I. xxiii.-xxiv. 

1= speech by weeping and striking his face and 
breast : then, dashing aside the friends on whose 
shoulders he was supported, he threw himself head- 
long and fawned at the feet of man after man, until 
he excited such consternation and hatred that one 
party flung into irons the gladiators in Blaesus' 
service ; another, the rest of his household ; while 
the others poured out in search of the corpse. In 
fact, if it had not come to light very shortly that no 
body was discoverable, that the slaves under torture 
denied the murder, and that Vibulenus had never 
owned a brother, they were within measurable 
distance of making away -with the general. As it 
was, they ejected the tribunes and camp-marshal 
and plundered the fugitives' baggage. The cen- 
turion Lucihus also met his end. Camp humorists 
had sumamed him ' 'Fetch-Another," from his 
habit, as one cane^ broke over a private's back, of 
calling at the top of his voice for a second, and 
ultimately a third. His colleagues found safety in 
hiding : Juhus Clemens alone was kept, as the 
mutineers considered that his quick -nits might be of 
service in presenting their claims. The eighth and 
fifteenth legions, it should be added, were on the 
point of turning their swords against each other upon 
the question of a centurion named Sirpicus, — 
demanded for execution by the eighth and protected 
by the fifteenth, — had not the men of the ninth 
intervened with entreaties and, in the event of their 
rejection, with threats. 

XXIV. In spite of his secretiveness, always 
deepest when the news was blackest, Tiberius was 
driven by the reports from Pannonia to send out his 
son Drusus, with a staff of nobles and two praetorian 

285 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

nullis satis certis mandatis, ex re consulturum. 
Et cohortes delecto milite supra solitum firmatae. 
Additur magna pars praetorian! equitis et robora 
Germanorum, qui turn custodes imperatori aderant ; 
simul praetorii praefectus Aelius Seianus, coUega 
Straboni patri suo datus, magna apud Tiberium 
auctoritate, rector iuveni et ceteris periculorum 
praemiorumque ostentator. Druso propinquanti 
quasi per officium obviae fuere legiones, non laetae, 
ut adsolet, neque insignibus fulgentes, sed inluvie 
deformi et vultu, quamquam maestitiam imitaren- 
tur, contumaciae propiores. 

XXV. Postquam vallum introiit,^ portas statio- 
nibus firmant, globes armatorum certis castrorum 
locis opperiri iubent ; ceteri tribunal ingenti agmine 
circumveniunt. Stabat Drusus silentium manu 
poscens. Illi, quoties oculos ad multitudinem rettu- 
lerant,^ vocibus truculentis strepere, rursum viso 
Caesare trepidare ; murmur incertum, atrox clamor 
et repente quies ; diversis animorum motibus pave- 
bant terrebantque. Tandem interrupto tumultu 
litteras patris recitat, in quis perscriptum erat, 
praecipuam ipsi fortissimarum legionum curam, 
quibuscum plurima bella toleravisset ; ubi primum 
a luctu requiesset animus, acturum apud patres de 

^ introiit Lipsius : introit. 

2 rettulerant Beroaldus : sed tulerant. 

1 That the dona militaria, worn on full-dress occasions, 
are meant seems to be shown by Hist. II. 89, ceteri iuxta suam 
quisque centuriam, armis donisque fulgentes. 

2 In order to exclude the main body of Drusus' escort. 

3 Once in 12-9 B.C., when he pushed forward the frontier 
to the Upper Danube ; and again in 6-9 a.d., in the extremely 
grave crisis occasioned by the revolt of Pannonia and Dalmatia. 

286 



BOOK I. XXIV.-XXV. 

cohorts. He had no instructions that could be called 
definite : he was to suit his measures to the emergency. 
Drafts of picked men raised the cohorts to abnormal 
strength. In addition, a large part of the praetorian 
horse was included, as well as the flower of the 
German troops, who at that time formed the imperial 
bodyguard. The coiimiandant of the household 
troops, AeUus Sejanus, who held the office jointly 
with his father Strabo and exercised a remarkable 
influence over Tiberius, went in attendance, to act 
as monitor to the young prince and to keep before the 
eyes of the rest the prospects of peril or reward. As 
Drusus approached, the legions met him, ostensibly 
to mark their loyalty ; but the usual demonstrations 
of joy and ghtter of decorations ^ had given place to 
repulsive squalor and to looks that aimed at sadness 
and came nearer to insolence. 

XXV. The moment he passed the outworks, they 
held the gates with sentries,^ and ordered bodies of 
armed men to be ready at fixed positions within the 
camp : the rest, in one great mass, flocked round the 
tribunal. Drusus stood, beckoning with his hand for 
silence. One moment, the mutineers would glance 
back at their thousands, and a roar of truculent 
voices followed ; the next, they saw the Caesar and 
trembled : vague murmmrings, savage yells and 
sudden stillnesses marked a conflict of passions which 
left them alternately terrified and terrible. At last, 
during a lull in the storm, Drusus read over his 
father's letter, in which it M'as ^vTitten that " he had 
personally a special regard for the heroic legions in 
whose company he had borne so many campaigns ; ' 
that as soon as his thoughts found a rest from grief, 
he would state their case to the Conscript Fathers ; 

287 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

postulatis eorum; misisse inl^erim filium, ut sine 
cunctatione concederet quae statim tribui possent; 
cetera senatui servanda, quem neque gratiae neque 
severitatis expertem haberi par esset. 

XXVI. Responsum est a contione mandata de- 
menti centurioni quae perferret. Is orditur de 
missione a sedeeim annis, de praemiis finitae mili- 
tiae, ut denarius diurnum stipendium foret, ne 
veterani sub vexillo haberentur. Ad ea Drusus 
cum arbitrium senatus et patris obtenderet, cla- 
more turbatur. Cur venisset, neque augendis mili- 
tum stipendiis neque adlevandis laboribus, denique 
nulla bene faciendi licentia ? At hercule verbera 
et necem cunctis permitti. Tiberium olim nomine 
Augusti desideria legionum frustrari solitum : eas- 
dem artis Drusum rettulisse. Numquamne ad se 
nisi ^ filios familiarum ventures ? Novum id plane 
quod imperator sola militis conunoda ad senatum 
reiciat. Eundem ergo senatum consulendum, quo- 
tiens supplicia aut proelia indicantur. An praemia 
sub dominis, poenas sine arbitro esse ? 

XXVII. Postremo deserunt tribunal, ut quis 
praetorianorum militum amicorumve Caesaris 
occurreret, manus intentantes, causam discordiae 
et initium armorum, maxime infensi Cn. Lentulo, 
quod is ante alios aetate et gloria belli firmare Dru- 

^ ad se nisi Lipsius : nisi ad se. 



^ If he was thirty -five years of age at the time of his con- 
sulate (18 B.C.), he would be now in his sixty-seventh year; 
his " military fame " rested on his campaign on the Danube 
against the southern Daci (Getae). See the short and Roman 
epitaph in IV. 44 init. 



BOOK I. xxv.-xxvii. 

meantime he had sent his son to grant mthoiit delay 
any reforms that could be conceded on the spot ; the 
others must be reserved for the senate, a body which 
they would do well to reflect, could be both generous 
and severe." 

XXVI. The assembly rephed that Clemens, the 
centurion, was empowered to present their demands. 
He began to speak of discharge at the end of sixteen 
years, gratuities for service completed, payment on 
the scale of a denarius a day, no retention of time- 
expired men with the colours. Drusus attempted 
1 11 plead the j urisdietion of the senate and his father. 
He was interrupted with a shout: — "Why had he 

ane, if he was neither to raise the pay of the troops 
T to ease their burdens — if, in short, he had no 
leave to do a kindness ? Yet death and the lash. 
Heaven was their witness, were Avithin the com- 
petence of anyone ! It had been a habit of Tiberius 
before him to parry the requests of the legions by 
references to Augustus, and now Drusus had repro- 
duced the old trick. Were they never to be visited 
by any but these young persons with a father ? It 
was remarkable indeed that the emperor should refer 
the good of his troops, and nothing else, to the senate. 
If so, he ought to consult the same senate when 
executions or battles were the order of the day. Or 
were rewards to depend on many masters, punish- 
ments to be without control ? " 

XXVII. At last they left the tribunal, shaking 
their fists at any guardsman, or member of the 
Caesar's staff, who crossed their road, in order to 
supply a ground of quarrel and initiate a resort to 
arms. They were bitterest against Gnaeus Lentulus, 
whose superior age and miUtary fame ^ led them to 

289 

VOL. II. U 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

sum credebatur et ilia militiae flagitia primus asper- 
nari. Nee multo post digredientem cum ^ Caesare 
ae provisu periculi hiberna castra repetentem cir- 
cumsistunt, rogitantes quo pergeret, ad impera- 
torem an ad patres, ut illic quoque commodis.le- 
gionum adversaretur ; simul ingruunt, saxa iaciunt. 
lamque lapidis ictu cruentus et exitii ^ certus, adcursu 
multitudinis quae cum Druso advenerat protectus est. 
XX\^III. Noctem minacem et in scelus erup- 
tui'am fors lenivit : nam luna claro repente ^ caelo 
visa languescei'e. Id miles i-ationis ignarus omen 
praesentium accepit, suis * laboribus defectionem 
sideris adsimulans, prospereque cessura qua ^ perge- 
rent, si fulgor et claritudo deae redderetur. Igitur 
aeris sono, tubarum cornuumque concentu strepere ; 
prout splendidior obscuriorve, laetari aut maerere ; 
et postquam ortae nubes ofFeceve visui creditumque 
conditam tenebris, ut sunt mobiles ad supersti- 
tionem perculsae semel mentes, sibi aeternum la- 
borem portendi,^ sua facinora aversari ' deos lamen- 
tantur. Vtendum inclinatione ea Caesar et quae 

^ cum Beroaldus : eum. • ^ exitii Beroaldus : exitu. 

^ claro rcpcntc Lipsiits : clamore pena. 

* suis Freinshsim : asuis. ^ qua Halm : quae. 

® portendi Beroaldus : potandi. 

' aversari Rhenanus : advcrsari. 

^ September 26, at 3 a.m. 

^ Procul auxiliantia gentes Aera crepanl (Stat. Thcb. VI. G86). 
References to this method of aiding the moon in her struggle 
with witchcraft, sickness, or the jaws of malignant monsters, 
are common enough : the custom, in fact, is (of has been) 
world-wide. See, for example, the interesting account in the 
first volume of Tylor's Primitive Culture (pp. 330-34), and, 
for the views of a more sophisticated soldier, Amm. Marc. 
XX. 3. 

2C,^ 



BOOK I. xxvii.-xxviii. 

believe that he was hardening Drusus' heart and was 
the foremost opponent of this degradation of the 
service. Before long they caught him leaving \\ith 
the prince : he had foreseen the danger and was 
making for the ^v^nter-camp. Surrounding him, 
they demanded whither he was going? To the 
emperor ? — or to his Conscript Fathers, there also to 
work against the good of the legions ? Simultane- 
ously they closed in and began to stone him. He was 
'bleeding already from a cut with a missile and had 
made up his mind that the end was come, when he 
was saved by the advent of Drusus' numerous escort, 
XXVni. It was a night of menace and foreboded 
a day of blood, when chance turned peace-maker : 
for suddenly the moon was seen to be losing light in a 
clear sky.^ The soldiers, who had no inkling of the 
reason, took it as an omen of the present state of 
affairs : the labouring planet was an emblem of 
their own struggles, and their road would lead them 
to a happy goal, if her brilUance and purity could be 
restored to the goddess ! Accordingly, the silence 
was broken by a boom of brazen gongs and the 
blended notes of trumpet and horn.^ The watchers 
rejoiced or mourned^ as their deity brightened or 
faded, until rising clouds curtained off the view and 
she set, as they believed, in darkness. Then — so 
pliable to superstition are minds once unbalanced — 
they began to bewail the eternal hardships thus 
foreshadowed and their crimes from which the face 
of heaven was averted. This turn of the scale, the 
Caesar reflected, must be put to use : wisdom should 

' " In our own times, a writer on French folklore was 
surprised during a lunar eclipse to hear sighs and exclamations, 
' Mon Dieu, cju'elle est souJE&antc.' " — ^Tylor, I.e. 

291 
u2 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

casus obtulerat in sapientiam vertenda ratus, cir- 
cumiri tentoria iubet; accitur centurio Clemens et 
si alii bonis artibus grati in vulgus. Hi ^ vigiliis, 
stationibus, custodiis portarum se inserunt, spein 
ofFerunt, nictum intendunt : " Quo usque filium impe- 
ratoris obsidebimus ? quis ccrtaniinum finis ? Per- 
cennione et Vibuleno sacraiuentuni dicturi sumus ? 
Percennius et Vibulenus stipendia militibus, agros 
emeritis largientur? denique pro Neronibus et 
Drusis iinperium populi llomani capessent? Quiii 
potius, ut novissimi in culpam, ita primi ad pae- 
nitentiam sumus? Tarda sunt quae in conmiune 
expostulantur : privatam gratiam statim mereare, 
statim recipias." Commotis per haec mentibus 
et inter se suspectis, tironem a veterano, legionem 
a legione dissociant. Turn redire paulatim amor 
obsequii: omittunt portas, signa unum in locum 
principio seditionis congregata suas in sedes referunt. 
XXIX. Drusus, orto die et vocata contione, 
quamquam rudis dicendi, nobilitate ingenita incu- 
sat priora, probat praesentia; negat se terrore et 
minis vinci : flexes ad modestiam si videat, si sup- 
plices audiat, scripturum patri ut placatus legionum 
preces exciperet. Orantibus rursum idem Blaesus 

^ Id Weikert : in. 
292 



BOOK I. xxviii.-xxix. 

reap where chance had sown. He ordered a round 
of the tents to be made. Clemens, the centurion, 
was sent for, along with any other officer whose 
qualities had made him popular with the ranks. 
These insinuated themselves everywhere, among 
the watches, the patrols, the sentries at the gates, 
suggesting hope and emphasizing fear. " How long 
must we besiege the son of our emperor ? What is 
to be the end of our factions ? Are we to swear 
fealty to Percennius and Vibulenus? Will Percen- 
nius and \'ibulenus give the soldier his pay — his 
grant of land at his discharge ? Are they, in fine, 
to dispossess the stock of Nero and Drusus and take 
over the sovereignty of the Roman People ? Why, 
rather, as we were the last to offend, are we not the 
first to repent ? Reforms demanded collectively are 
slow in coming : private favour is quickly earned and 
as quickly paid." The leaven worked; and under 
the influence of their mutual suspicions they separated 
once more recruit from veteran, legion from legion. 
Then, gradually the instinct of obedience returned; 
they abandoned the gates and restored to their 
proper places the ensigns which they had grouped 
together at the beginning of the mutiny. 

XXIX. At break of day Drusus called a meeting. 
He was no orator, but blamed their past and com- 
mended their present attitude ^vith native dignity. 
He was not to be cowed, he said, by intimidation and 
threats ; but if he saw them returning to their duty, 
if he heard them speaking the language of suppliants, 
he would write fo his father and advise him to lend 
an indulgent ear to the prayers of the legions. They 
begged him to do so, and as their deputies to Tiberius 
sent the younger Blaesus as before, together with 

293 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

et L. Aponius, eques Romanus e cohorte Drusi, 
lustusque Catonius, primi ordinis centurio, ad 
Tiberium mittuntur. Certatum hide sententiis, 
cum alii opperiendos legates atque interim comi- 
tate permulcendum militem censerent, alii fortio- 
ribus remediis agendum : nihil in vulgo modicum ; 
terrere, ni paveant; ubi pertimuerint, inpune con- 
temni; dum supei'stitio urgeat, adiciendos ex duce 
metus sublatis seditionis auctoribus. Promptum 
ad asperiora ingenium Druso erat : vocatos Vibu- 
lenum et Percennium interfici iubet. Tradunt ple- 
rique intra tabernaculum ducis obrutos, alii cor- 
pora extra vallum abiecta ostentui. 

XXX. Tum, ut quisque praecipuus turbator, con- 
quisiti, et pars, extra castra palantes, a centurio- 
nibus aut praetoriarum cohortium militibus caesi: 
quosdam ipsi manipuli documentum fidei tradidere. 
Auxerat militum curas praematura hiems imbri- 
bus continuis adeoque saevis, ut non egredi tentoria, 
congregari inter se, vix tutari signa possent, quae 
turbine atque unda raptabantur. Durabat et for- 
mido caelestis irae, nee frustra adversus impios 
hebescere sidera, ruere tempestates: non aliud 
malorum levamentum, quam si linquerent castra 
infausta temerataque et, soluti piaculo, suis quisque 
hibernis redderentur. Primum octava, dein quinta 
294 



BOOK I. xxix.-xxx. 

Lucius Aponius, a Roman knight on Drusus' staff, 
and Justus Catonius, a centurion of the first order. 
There was now a conflict of opinions, some proposing 
to wait for the return of the deputies and humour the 
troops in the meantime by a show of leniency, while 
others were for sterner remedies: — " A crowd was 
nothing if not extreme ; it must either bluster or 
cringe : once terrified, it could be ignored \\ith 
impunity ; now that it was depressed by superstition 
was the moment for the general to inspire fresh 
terror by removing the authors of the mutiny." 
Drusus had a natural bias towards severity : Vibu- 
lenus and Percennius were summoned and their 
execution was ordered. Most authorities state 
that they were buried inside the general's pavihon : 
according to others, the bodies were thrown outside 
the lines and left on \iew. 

XXX. There followed a hue and cry after every 
ringleader of note. Some made blindly from the 
camp and were cut down by the centurions or by 
members of the praetorian cohorts : others were 
handed over by the companies themselves as a 
certificate of their loyalty. The troubles of the 
soldiers had been increased by an early winter with 
incessant and pitiless rains. It was impossible to 
stir from the tents or to meet in common, barely 
possible to save the standards from being carried 
away by hurricane and flood. In addition their dread 
( if the di\ine anger still persisted : not for nothing, 
it was whispered, was their impiety visited by fading 
l)lanets and rushing storms ; there was no relief 
from their miseries but to leave this luckless, infected 
camp, and, absolved from guilt, return every man 
to hLs winter-quarters. First the eighth legion, then 

295 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

decumca legio rediere; nonanus opperiendas Tiberii 
epistulas clamitaverat, mox desolatus alioriim dis- 
cessione imminentem necessitatem sponte prac- 
veiiit. Et Drusus, non exspectato legatorum regrcs- 
su, quia praesentia satis consederant,i in urbem rediit. 
XXXI. Isdem ferme diebus isdem causis Ger- 
manicae legiones tui'batae, quanto plures, tanto 
violentius, et magna spe fore ut Germanicus Caesar 
iniperium alterius pati nequiret daretque se legio- 
nibus vi sua cuncta tracturis.^ Duo apud ripam 
Rheni exercitus erant : cui nomen superiori sub 
G. Silio legato, inferiorem A. Caecina curabat. 
Regimen summae rei penes Germanicum, agendo 
Galliarum censui tum intentum. Sed quibus Silius 
moderabatur, mente ambigua fortunam seditionis 
alienae speculabantur : inferioris exercitus miles 
in rabiem prolapsus est, orto ab unetvicesimanis 
quintanisque initio, et tractis prima quoque ac vice- 
sima legionibus : nam isdem aestivis in finibus 
Vbiorum habebantur per otium aut levia munia. 
Igitur, audito fine Augusti, vernacula multitude, 
nuper acto in urbe dilectu, lasciviae sueta, labo- 

^ consederant Rhenamis : considerant. 
' tracturis Freinsheim : tracturus. 

^ Four legions in the Upper Army and an equal number in 
the Lower, as against three in Pannonia. Of the two military 
districts (on the left bank of the Rhine), Germania superior 
extended from Lake Constance to Brohl, between Bonn and 
Coblenz ; Germania inferior from Brohl to the sea. 

^ i.e. in receiving the returns of property, on the basis of 
which the tribute was periodically apportioned. 

296 



I 



BOOK I. xxx.-xxxi. 

the fifteenth, departed. The men of the ninth had 
insisted loudly on waiting for Tiberius' letter: soon, 
isolated by the defection of the rest, they too made 
a virtue of what threatened to become a necessity, 
Drusus himself, since affairs Avere settled enough at 
present, went back to Rome without staying for the 
return of the deputies. 

XXXI. During the same days almost, and from 
the same causes, the legions of Germany mutinied, 
in larger numbers ^ and with proportionate fury ; 
M'hile their hopes ran high that Germanicus Caesar, 
unable to brook the sovereignty of another, would 
throw himself into the arms of his legions, whose 
force could sweep the world. There were two 
armies on the Rhine bank: the Upper, under the 
command of Gains Silius ; the Lower, in charge of 
Aulus Caecina. The supreme command rested with 
Germanicus, then engaged in assessing the tribute 
of the Gaulish provinces.^ But while the forces under 
Silius merely watched with doubtful sympathy the 
fortunes of a rising which was none of theirs, the 
lower amiy plunged into delirium. The beginning 
came from the twenty-first and fifth legions : then, 
as they vrere all stationed, idle or on the lightest of 
duty, in one siunmer camp on the Ubian frontier,' 
the first and twentieth as well were dra\\Ti into the 
current. Hence, on the report of Augustus' death, 
the swarm of city-bred recruits swept from the 
capital by the recent levy,* familiar A\ith licence and 

' In the Cologne district. 

* After the loss of the seventeenth, eighteenth and nine- 
teenth legions with Varus, Augustus by the most drastic 
methods enrolled two new legions, the twenty-first and 
twenty-second : the former (Rapax) was under Caecina; 
the latter {Beiolariana) stationed iu Egypt. 

297 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

rum intolerans, implere ^ ceterorum rudes animos : 
venisse tempus quo veterani maturam missionem, 
iuvenes largiora stipendia, cuncti modum miseria- 
rum exposcerent saevitiamque centurionum ulcis- 
cerentur. Non unus haec, ut Pannonicas inter le- 
giones Percennius, nee apud trepidas militum auris, 
alios validiores exereitus respicientium, sed multa 
seditionis ora vocesque : sua in manu sitam rem 
Romanam, suis victoriis augeri rem publicam, in 
suum cognomentum adscisci imperatores. 

XXXII. Nee legatus obviam ibat: quippe plu- 
rium vaecordia constantiam exemerat. Repente 
lymphati destrictis gladiis in centuriones invadunt : 
ea vetustissima militaribus odiis materies et sae- 
viendi principium. Prostrates verberibus mulcant, 
sexagenis^ singulos, ut numerum centurionum adae- 
quarent : tum convulsos laniatosque et partim exa- 
nimos ante vallum aut in amnem Rhenum proiciunt. ^ 
Septimius, cum perfugisset ad tribunal pedibusque 1 
Caecinae advolveretur, eo usque flagitatus est, 
donee ad exitium dederetur. Cassius Chaerea, mox 
caede Gai Caesaris memoriam apud posteros adeptus^ 
tum adulescens et animi ferox, inter obstantis et 
armatos ferro viam patefecit. Non tribunus ultra, 

^ implere] impellere Acidalius. 
2 sexagenis Thiersch ■ sexageni. 

^ They were hgiones Germanicae, and a senatorial decree 
had confeiTed the name Oermanicus upon Tiberius' brother 
Drusus and his posterity. It was borne, therefore, by their 
present commander and his brother Claudius — occasionally 
[eariv ore, D. Cass. LVII. 8) by Tiberius himself. 

- According to Dio Cassius, he was ippconeveoraros dvSpcjv ; 
but adulescens hardly squares with Suetonius' assertion that he 
was iam senior less than twenty-seven years later. Tacitus' 
account of his dispatch of Caligula (Jan. 24, 41 a.d.) is un- 

298 



BOOK I. xxxi.-xxxii. 

chafing at hardship, began to influence the suiiple 
minds of the rest : — " The time had come when the 
veteran should seek his overdue discharge, and the 
younger man a less niggardly pay ; when all should 
claim rehef from their miseries and take vengeance 
on the cruelty of their centurions." These were not 
the utterances of a solitary Percennius declaiming 
to the Pannonian legions ; nor were they addressed 
to the uneasy ears of soldiers who had other and 
more powerful armies to bear in new : it was a 
sedition of many tongues and voices : — " Theirs were 
the hands that held the destinies of Rome ; theirs the 
victories by which the empire grew; theirs the 
name which Caesars assumed! "^ 

XXXII. The legate made no counter-move : indeed, 
the prevalent frenzy had destroyed his nerve. In a 
sudden paroxysm of rage the troops rushed with 
drawn swords on the centurions, the traditional 
objects of military hatred, and always the first 
victims of its fury. They threw them to the ground 
and applied the lash, sixty strokes to a man, one for 
every centurion in the legion ; then tossed them with 
dislocated hmbs, mangled, in some cases unconscious, 
over the wall or into the waters of the Rhine. 
Septimius took refuge at the tribunal and threw 
himself at the feet of Caecina, but was demanded 
with such insistence that he had to be surrendered 
to his fate. Cassius Chaerea, soon to win a name in 
history as the slayer of Caligula, then a reckless 
^tripling,2 opened a way with his sword through an 
anned and challenging multitude. Neither tribune 

luckily lost, but the details are striking enough even in the 
p^ea of Dio (LIX. 29), Josephus {A.J. XIX. 1-4), and 
Suetonius (Calig. 56-8). 

299 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

non castrorum praefectus ius obtinuit : vigilias, 
statioiies, et si qua alia praescns lisus indixerat, ipsi 
partiebantur. Id militaris animos altius coniec- 
tantibus praecipuuni indicium magni atque inpla- 
cabilis motus, quod disiecti nil neque ^ paucorum 
instinctu, set pariter ardescerent, pariter silercnt, 
tanta aequalitate et constantia, ut regi crederes. 

XXXIII. Interea Germanico per Gallias, ut 
diximus, census accipienti excessisse Augustum 
adfertur. Neptem eius Agrippinam in matrimonio 
pluresque ex ea liberos habebat, ipse Druso fratre 
Tiberii genitus, Augustae nepos, set anxius occultis 
in se patrui aviaeque odiis, quorum, causae acriore? 
quia iniquae. Quippe Drusi magna apud popu- 
lum Romanum memoria, credebaturque, si rerum 
potitus foret, libertatem redditurus ; unde in Ger- 
raanicum favor et spes eadem. Nam iuveni civile 
insrenium, mira comitas et di versa ab ^ Tiberii ser- 
mone, vultu, adrogantibus et obscuris. Accedebant 
muliebres ofFensiones novercalibus Liviae in Agrip- 
pinam stimulis, atque ipsa Agrippina paulo commo- 
tior, nisi quod castitate et mariti amore quamvis 
indomitum animiun in bonum vertebat. 

XXXIV. Sed Germanicus quanto sununae spei 



^ disiecti nil neque Heraevs : neque disiecti nil. 
* ab Weissenborn (a Beroaldns) : ad. 



300 



BOOK I. xxxii.-xxxiv. 

nor camp-marshal kept authority longer : watches, 
patrols, every duty which circumstances indicated as 
vital, the mutineers distributed among themselves. 
Indeed, to a careful observer of the military tem- 
perament, the most alarming sign of acute and 
intractable disaffection was this : there were no 
spasmodic outbreaks instigated by a few firebrands, 
but everywhere one white heat of anger, one silence, 
and withal a steadiness and uniformity which might 
well have been accredited to discipline. 

XXXIII. In the meantime, Germanicus, as we 
have stated, was traversing the Gallic provinces and 
assessing their tribute, when the message came that 
Augustus was no more. Married to the late 
emperor's granddaughter Agrippina, who had borne 
him several children, and himself a grandchild of the 
dowager (he was the son of Tiberius' brother Drusus), 
he was tormented none the less by the secret hatred 
of his uncle and grandmother — hatred springing 
from motives the more potent because iniquitous. 
For Drusus was still a living memory to the nation, 
and it was believed that, had he succeeded, he would 
have restored the age of liberty ; whence the same 
affection and hopes centred on the young Germanicus 
with his unassuming disposition and his exceptional 
courtesy, so far removed from the inscrutable 
arrogance of word and look which characterized 
Tiberius. Feminine animosities increased the ten- 
sion as Li\'ia had a stepmother's irritable dislike of 
Agrippina, whose own temper was not without a hint 
of fire, though purity of mind and wifely devotion 
kept her rebellious spirit on the side of righteousness. 
XXXIV. But the nearer Germanicus stood to the 
supreme ambition, the more energy he threw into 

301 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

propior, tanto impensius pro Tiberio niti ; seque et ^ 
proximos et Belgaruni civitates in verba eius adigit. 
Dehinc, audito legionum tumultu, raptim profectus, 
obvias extra castra habuit, deiectis in terram oculis 
velut paenitentia. Postquam vallum iniit, dissoni 
questus audiri coepere. Et quidam prensa manu 
eius per speciem exosculandi inseruerunt digitos, ut 
vacua dentibus ora contingeret ; alii curvata senio 
membra ostendebant. Adsistentem contionem, quia 
pcrmixta videbatur, discedere in manipulos iubet : 
sic melius audituros responsum ; vexilla praeferri, 
ut id saltem dicerneret cohortis ; tarde obtempe- 
ravere. Tunc, a veneratione Augusti orsus, flexit 
ad victorias triumphosque Tiberii, pi'aecipuis lau- 
dibus celebrans quae apud Germanias illis cum 
legionibus pulcherrima fecisset. Italiae inde consen- 
sum, Galliarum fidem extollit ; nil usquam turbi- 
dum aut discors. Silentio haec vel murmure modico 
audita sunt. 

XXXV. Vt seditionem attigit, ubi modestia 
militai'is, ubi veteris disciplinae decus, quonam 
tribunos, quo centuriones exegissent. rogitans, nu- 
dant universi ^ corpora, cicatrices ex vulneribus, 
verberum notas exprobrant ; mox indiscertis voci- 
bus pretia vacationum, angustias stipendii, duri- 



^ seque et Haase : seque. 
- universi Lipsius : universa. 



^ Tiberius — the foremost Roman general after the death 
of Agrippa — operated against the Germans, first in 9-8 B.C., 
then in 4-5 a.d., and finally, after the Variau disaster, in 

9-11 A.D. 

302 



BOOK I. xxxiv.-xxxv. 

the cause of Tiberius. He administered the oath of 
fealty to himself, his subordinates, and the Belgic 
cities. Then came the news that the legions were out 
of hand. He set out in hot haste, and found them 
drawn up to meet him outside the camp, their eyes 
fixed on the ground in affected penitence. As soon 
as he entered the lines, a jangle of complaints began 
to assail his ears. Some of the men seized his hand, 
and with a pretence of kissing it pushed the fingers 
between their lips, so that he should touch their 
toothless gums ; others showed him limbs bent and 
bowed with old age. When at last they stood ready 
to listen, as there appeared to be no sort of order, 
Germanicus commanded them to divide into com- 
panies : they told him they would hear better as they 
were. At least, he insisted, bring the ensigns 
forward ; there must be something to distinguish the 
cohorts : they obeyed, but slowly. Then, begin- 
ning with a pious tribute to the memory of Augustus, 
he changed to the \ictories and the triumphs of 
Tiberius, keeping his livehest praise for the laurels he 
had won in the Germanics at the head of those very 
legions.^ Next he enlarged on the unanimity of 
Italy and the loyalty of the Gallic provinces, the 
absence everywhere of turbulence or disaffection. 

XXXV. All this was listened to in silence or with 
suppressed murmurs. But when he touched on the 
mutiny and asked where was their soldiex'ly obedi- 
ence ? where the discipline, once their glory ? 
whither had they driven their tribunes — their 
centurions ? with one impulse they tore off their 
tunics and reproachfully exhibited the scars of battle 
and the imprints of the lash. Then, in one undis- 
tinguished uproar, they taunted him with the fees 

303 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

tiam operum ac propriis nominibus incusant vallum, 
fossas, pabuli, materiae, lignorum adgestus, et si 
qua alia ex necessitate aut adversus otium cas- 
trorum quaeruntur. Atrocissimus veteranox-um cla- 
mor oriebatur, qui tricena aut supra stipendia nume- 
rantes, mederetiir fessis, neu mortem in isdem labo- 
ribus obirent,^ sed finem tani exercitae militiae neque 
inopem requiem orabant. Fuere etiam qui legatam 
a divo Augusto pecuniam reposcerent, faustis in Ger- 
manicum ominibus ; et, si vellet imperium, promp- 
tos ^ ostcntavere. Turn vero, quasi scelere conta- 
minaretur, praeccps tribunali desiluit. Opposue- 
runt abeunti arma, minitantes, ni regrederetur ; 
at ille moriturum potius quam fidem exueret cla- 
mitans, ferrum a latere deripuit ^ elatumque defe- 
rebat in pectus, ni proximi prensam dextram vi 
attinuissent. Extrema et conglobata inter se pars 
contionis ac, vix credibile dictu, quidam singuli, 
propius incedentes, feriret hortabantur ; et miles 
nomine Calusidius strictum obtulit gladimn, addito 
acutiorem esse. Saevum id malique moris etiam 
furentibus visum, ac spatium fuit quo Caesar ab 
amicis in tabernaculum raperetur. 

1 laboribus obirent Erncsti : laboribus. 

2 promptos Rhcnanus : promtas. 
' deripuit Beroaldus : diripuit. 



1 t.e. timber — a sense of materia which survives in the 
Spanish madera. 

2 For the legacy, see above (chap. 8). The implication 
of reposcerent is taken to be that they considered Gei-manicus 
the lawful heir : on the other hand, the phrase fcn(stis in 
Germanicum ominibus can hardly be pressed into meaning much 
more than "with expressions of good-will to Germanicus." 
Cf. V. 4: populus . . . circumsislit curiam faustisque in 



BOOK I. XXXV. *i 

for exemption from duty, the miserly rate of pay, and 
the severity of the work, — parapet-making, entrench- 
ing, and the collection of forage, building material^ 
and fuel were specifically mentioned, along with the 
other camp drudgeries imposed sometimes from 
necessity, sometimes as a precaution against leisure. 
The most appalling outcry arose from the veterans, 
Avho, enumerating their thirty or more campaigns, 
begged him to give relief to outworn men and not 
to leave them to end their days in the old wretched- 
ness, but fix a term to this grinding service and allow 
them a little rest secured from beggary. There were 
some even who claimed the money bequeathed to 
them by the deified Augustus, with happy auguries 
for Germanicus;^ and, should he desire the throne, 
they made it manifest that they were ready. On 
this he leapt straight from the platform as if he was 
being infected with their guilt. They barred his way 
with their weapons, threatening to use them unless 
he returned : but he, exclaiming that he would 
sooner die than turn traitor, snatched the sword 
from his side, raised it, and would have buried it in 
his breast, if the bystanders had not caught his arm 
and held it by force. The remoter and closely 
packed part of the assembly, and — though the state- 
ment passes belief — certain individual soldiers, 
advancing close to him, urged him to strike home. 
One private, by the name of Calusidius, drew his 
own blade and offered it with the commendation that 
" it was sharper." Even to that crowd of madmen 
the act seemed brutal and ill-conditioned, and there 
followed a pause long enough for the Caesar's friends 
to hurry him into his tent. 

Caesarem ominibus falsas Utteras el principe invito exUium 
domui eiits intendi clamilat. 

VOL. II. X 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

XXXVI. Consultatum ibi de reniedio ; etenini 
nuntiabatur parari legates, qui superiorem exer- 
citum ad causani eandem traherent ; destinatuni 
excidio Vbiorum oppidum, imbutasque praeda ma- 
iius in direptionem Galliarum erupturas. Augebat 
ixietuin gnarus Romanae seditionis et, si mitte- 
retur ripa, invasurus hostis : at, si auxilia et socii 
advei'sum abscedentis legiones armarentur, civile 
bellum suscipi. Periculosa severitas, flagitiosa lar- 
gitio ; seu nihil militi, sive ^ omnia concederentuv ^ in 
aneipiti res publiea. Igitur, volutatis inter se ratio- 
nibus, placitum ut epistulae nomine principis scri- 
berentur: missionem dari vicena stipendia meritis, i 
exauctorari qui sena dena fecissent ac retineri sub 
vexillo ceterorum inmunes nisi propulsandi hostis, 
legata quae petiverant exsolvi dupliearique. 

" XXXVII. Sensit miles in tempus conficta statim- 
que flagitavit. Missio per tribunos maturatur, largitio 
difFerebatur in hiberna cuiusque. Non abscessere 
quintani unetvicesimanique, donee isdem in aestivis 
contraeta ex viatico amicorum ipsiusque Caesaris 
pecunia persolveretur. Primam ac vicesimam le- 
giones Caecina legatus in civitatem Vbiorum reduxit, 

1 sive Jac. Gronovius (seu Beroaldus) : sibi. 
^ concederentur Bhenanus : concedentur. 



^ Cologne — later Colonia Agrippinensis. In the following 
chapter, civitas Ubiorum is merely synonymous. 

^ Yet in chap. 48 he reappears, not at Cologne but at 
Xanten {Castra Vetera) ; whence Mommsen's conjecture that 
the text of Tacitus, or of his authority, should run : — primam 
ac vicesimam legiones Oermanicus in civitatem Ubiorum reduxit, 
quintam et unetvicesimam Caecina legatus in Castra Vetera, 
turpi agmine e.q.s. 

306 



BOOK I. xxxvi.-xxxvii. 

\XXVI. There the question of remedies was 
debated. For reports were coming in that a mission 
was being organized to bring the upper army into 
line, that the Ubian capital^ had been marked down 
for destruction, and that after this preUminary 
experiment in pillage the mutineers proposed to 
break out and loot the Galhc provinces. To add to 
the alarm, the enemy was cognizant of the disaffec- 
tion in the Roman ranks, and invasion was certain 
if the Rhine bank was abandoned. Yet to arm the 
auxiliaries native and foreign against the seceding 
legions was nothing less than an act of civil war. 
Severity was dangerous, indulgence criminal : to 
concede the soldiery all or nothing was equally to 
hazard the existence of the empire. Therefore, 
after the arguments had been revolved and balanced, 
it was decided to have letters written in the name of 
the emperor, directing that all men M'ho had served 
twenty years should be finally discharged ; that any 
who had served sixteen should be released from 
duty and kept with the colours under no obligation 
beyond that of assisting to repel an enemy; and 
that the legacies claimed should be paid and doubled. 

XXX\TI. The troops saw that all this was invented 
for the occasion, and demanded immediate action. 
The discharges were expedited at once by the 
tribunes : the monetary grant was held back till the 
men should have reached their proper quarters for 
the winter. The fifth and twenty-first legions de- 
cUned to move until the sum was made up and paid 
where they stood, in the summer camp, out of the 
travelling-chests of the Caesar's suite and of the 
prince himself. The legate Caecina led the first and 
twentieth legions back to the Ubian capital : ^ a dis- 

307 
.\2 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

turpi agmine, cum fisci de imperatore rapti inter 
signa interque aquilas veherentur. Germanicus, 
superiorem ad exercitum profectus, secundam et 
tertiam decumam et sextain decumam legiones 
nihil cunctatas sacramento adigit ; quartadecumani 
paulum dubitaverant. Pecunia et missio quamvis 
lion flagitantibus oblata est. 

XXXVIII. At in Chaucis coeptavere seditioucni 
praesidium agitaiites vexillarii discordium legionuni, 
et praesenti duorum militum supplieio paulum rc- 
prcssi sunt. lusserat id M'. Ennius ^ castroruin 
pracfectus, bono magis exemplo quam conccsso iurc. 
Deinde intumescentc motu profugus repertusqiic, 
postquam intutac latebrae, praesidium ab audacia 
mutuatur: non praefectum ab iis, sed Germanicum 
duceni, sed Tiberium imperatorem violari. Simul 
exterritis qui obstiterant,^ raptum vexillum ad ripam 
vertit, et, si quis agmine decessisset, pro desertore 
fore clamitans, reduxit in hiberna turbidos et nihil 
ausos. 

XXXIX. Interea legati ab senatu regressum iam ■ 
apud aram Vbiorum Germanicum adeunt. Duac 
ibi legiones, prima atque vicesima, veteranique iiuper 
missi sub vexillo hiemabant. Pavidos et conscien- 

^ M'. Ennius Ruperti : mennlus. 

^ obstiterant Beroaldus : obsisterant. 

^ Not a vexillum veteranorum (p. 276 n.) — for the veterans 
were in camp — but a detached body of legionaries on special 
service. The Chauci are the " Lesser Chauci " {Chauci 
minorcs, Kavxoi ol fUKpol) between the Ems and Weser. 

^ The deputation is that sent out to confer the proconsulare 
imperium (chap. 14) : the Altar was at Cologne, dedicated 

308 



BOOK I. xxxvii.-xxxix. 

graceful march, with the general's plundered coffers 
borne flanked by ensigns and by eagles. Gemianicus 
set out for the upper array, and induced the second, 
thirteenth, and sixteenth legions to take the oath of 
fidelity M-ithout demur ; the fourteenth had shown 
some little hesitation. The money and discharges, 
though not demanded, were voluntarily conceded. 

XXXVIII. Among the Chauci, however, a detach- 
mentji drawn from the disaffected legions, M'hich was 
serving on garrison duty, made a fresh attempt at 
mutiny, and was repressed for the moment by the 
sununary execution of a couple of soldiers. The 
order had been given by Manius Ennius, the camp- 
marshal, and was more a wholesome example than a 
legal exercise of authority. Then as the wave of 
disorder began to swell, he fled, was discovered, and 
as his hiding offered no security, resolved to owe 
salvation to audacity : — " It was no camp-marshal," 
he cried, " whom they were affronting; it was Ger- 
manicus, their general — Tiberius, their emperor." 
At the same time, overawing resistance, he snatched 
up the standard, turned it towards the Rhine, and, 
proclaiming that anyone falling out of the ranks 
would be regarded as a deserter, led his men back to 
winter-quarters, mutinous enough but with nothing 
ventured. 

XXXIX. Meanwhile the deputation from the 
senate found Germajiicus, who had returned by then, 
at the Altar of the Ubians.^ Two legions were 
wintering there, the first and twentieth; also the 
veterans recently discharged and now with their 
colom-s. Nervous as they were and distraught with 

to Augustus, and serving apparently as a centre of the cult to 
the whole of Roman Germany. 

309 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

tia vaecordes intrat metus venisse patrum iussu 
qui inrita facerent quae per seditionem expresse- 
rant. Vtque mos vulgo quamvis falsis I'eum subdere, 
Munatium Plancum consulatu functum, prineipem 
legationis, auctorem senatus consult! incusant : 
et nocte concubia vexillum in domo Germanici 
situm flagitare occipiunt, concursuque ad ianuam 
facto, moliuntur foris, extractum cubili Caesarem 
tradere vexillum intento mortis metu subigunt. 
Mox vagi per vias obvios habuere legates, audita 
consternatione ad Germanicum tendentis. Ingerunt 
contumelias, caedem parant, Planco maxinie, quern 
dignitas fuga impediverat; neque aliud pericli- 
tanti subsidium quam castra primae legionis. Illic 
signa et aquilam amplexus religione sese tutabatur, 
ac ni aquilifer Calpurnius vim extremam arcuisset, 
rarum etiam inter liostis, legatus populi Romani 
Romanis in castris sanguine suo altaria deum com- 
maoulavisset. Luce demimi, postquam dux et miles 
et facta noscebantur, ingressus castra Germanicus 
perduci ad se Plancum impei-at recepitque in tri- 
bunal. Tum fatalem increpans rabiem, neque mili- 
tum sed deum ira resurgere, cur venerint legati 
aperit ; ius legationis atque ipsius Planci gravem et 

^ The veterans, like Germanicus, are presumably quartered, 
not in camp, but in the town. They demand their vexilhnn 
as the symbol and guarantee of their status, in case the 
motives of the deputation should prove sinister. 

2 The standards and eagles {propria legionum numina, 
II. 17) were sacrosanct and adored as such. 

^ They stood with the standards in tlie principia. 

310 



BOOK I. XXXIX. 

the consciousness of guilt, the fear came over them 
that a senatorial commission had arrived to revoke 
all the concessions extorted by their rebellion. With 
the common propensity of crowds to find a victim, 
however false the charge, they accused Munatius 
Plancus, an ex-consul who was at the head of the 
deputation, of initiating the decree. Before the 
night was far advanced, they began to shout for the 
colours kept in Germanicus' quarters. ^ There was a 
rush to the gate ; they forced the door, and, dragging 
the prince from bed, compelled him on pain of death 
to hand over the ensign. A little later, while roving 
the streets, they lit on the envoys themselves, who 
had heard the disturbance and were hurrying to 
Germanicus. They loaded them with insults, and 
contemplated murder ; especially in the case of 
Plancus, whose dignity had debarred him from 
flight. Nor in his extremity had he any refuge but 
the quarters of the first legion. There, clasping the 
standards and the eagle, he lay in sanctuary ; ^ and 
had not the eagle-bearer Calpurnius shielded him 
from the crowning violence, then — by a crime almost 
unknown even between enemies — an ambassador of 
the Roman people would in a Roman camp have 
defiled with his blood the altars of heaven.^ At last, 
when the dawn came and officer and private and the 
doings of the night were recognized for what they 
were, Germanicus entered the camp, ordered Plancus 
to be brought to him, and took him on to the 
nibunal. Then, rebuking the " fatal madness, 
rekindled not so much by their own anger as by that 
of heaven," he gave the reasons for the deputies' 
arrival. He was plaintively eloquent upon the rights 
of ambassadors and the serious and undeserved 

3" 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

immeritum casum, simul quantum dedecoris adierit 
legio, facunde misei'atur, attonitaque magis quam 
quieta contione, legates praesidio auxiliarium equi- 
tum dimittit. 

XL. Eo in metu arguere Germanicum omnes, 
quod non ad superiorem exercitum pergeret, ubi 
obsequia et contra rebellis auxilium : satis superque 
missione et pecunia et mollibus consultis peccatum. 
Vel si vilis ipsi salus, cur filium parvulum, cur 
gravidam coniugem inter furentis et omnis humani 
iuris violatores haberet? Illos saltern avo et rei 
publicae redderet. Diu cunctatus aspernantem 
uxorem, cum se divo Augusto ortam neque dege- 
nerem ad pericula testaretur, postremo uterum 
eius et communem filium multo cum fletu comple- 
xus, ut abiret pei-pulit. Incedebat muliebre et 
miserabile agmen, profuga ducis uxor, parvulum 
sinu filium gerens, lamentantes circum amicorum 
coniuges, quae simul trahebantur; nee minus tristes 
qui manebant. 

XLL Non florentis Caesaris neque suis in castris, 
sed velut in urbe victa facies ; gemitusque ac planc- 
tus etiam militum auris oraque advertere : progre- 
diuntur contuberniis. Quis ille flebilis sonus? 
quid ^ tam triste ? Feminas inlustris, non centurio- 
nem ad tutelam, non militem, nihil imperatoriae 
uxoris aut comitatus soliti : pergere ad Treviros 

^ quid Heinsius : quod. 
312 



BOOK I. xxxi.\.-XT.i. 

outrage to Plancus, as also upon the deep disgrace 
contracted by the legion. Then, after reducing his 
hearers to stupor, if not to peace, he dismissed the 
deputies under a guard of auxiliary cavalry. 

XL. During these alarms, Germanicus was uni- 
versally blamed for not proceeding to the upper army, 
where he could count on obedience and on help against 
the rebels: — "Discharges, donations, and soft- 
hearted measures had done more than enough mis- 
chief. Or, if he held his own life cheap, why keep an 
infant son and a pregnant wife among madmen who 
trampled on all laws, human or divine ? These at 
any rate he ought to restore to their grandfather and 
the commonwealth." He was long undecided, and 
Agrippina met the proposal with disdain, protest- 
ing that she was a descendant of the deified 
Augustus, and danger would not find her degen- 
erate. At last, bursting into tears, he embraced 
their common child, together with herself and the 
babe to be, and so induced her to depart. Feminine 
and pitiable the procession began to move — the 
commander's wife in flight with his infant son borne 
on her breast, and round her the tearful wives of his 
friends, dragged like herself from their husbands. 
Nor were those who remained less woe-begone. 

XLI. The picture recalled less a Caesar at the 
zenith of fortune and in his own camp than a scene 
in a taken town. The sobbing and wailing drew the 
ears and eyes of the troops themselves. They began 
to emerge from quarters : — " Why," they demanded, 
" the sound of weeping? What calamity had hap- 
pened ? Here were these ladies of rank, and not a 
centurion to guard them, not a soldier, no sign of the 
usual escort or that this was the general's wife ! 

3^3 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

et externae tradi fidei.^ Pudor inde et miseratio et 
patris Agrippae, Augusti avi memoria, socer Drusus, 
ipsa insigni fecunditate, praeclara pudieitia; iam 
infans in castris genitus, in contubernio legionum 
eductus, quern militari vocabulo Caligulam appella- 
bant, quia plerumque ad concilianda vulgi studia eo 
tegmine pedum induebatur. Sed nihil aeque flexit 
quam invidia in Treviros ; orant, obsistunt,^ rediret, 
maneret, pars Agrippinae occursantes, plurimi ad 
Gei'manicum regressi. Isque, ut erat recens dolore 
et ira, apud circumfusos ita coepit : 

XLII. " Non mihi uxor aut filius patre et re publica 
cariores sunt, sed ilium quidem sua maiestas, imperium 
Romanum ceteri exercitus defendent. Coniugem 
et liberos meos, quos pro gloria vestra libens ad 
exitium offerrem, nimc procul a furentibus sum- 
moveo, ut quidquid istud sceleris imminet, meo 
tantum sanguine pietur, neve occisus Augusti 
pronepos, interfecta Tiberii nurus nocentiores vos 
faciant.^ Quid enim per hos dies inausum inteme- 
ratumve vobis ? Quod nomen huie coetui dabo ? 
militesne appellem, qui filium imperatoris vestri 
vallo ot armis circumsedistis ? An civis, quibus 

1 tradi fidei Wurm : fidei. 

2 obsistunt Beroaldus : ab.sistimt. 
' fiioiant Bitler : faciat. 



1 A Gallic tribe, whose capital was the modern Treves. 

2 " Little caliga " — the hob-nailed military (and rustic) 
boot, not worn by officers above the ranlc of centurion, and 
therefore regarded by the private soldier as typifying liis 
vocation. The tradition that Caligula was actually born in 
camp is refuted bj' Suetonius (Cal. 8) : — ego in adis Anii 
editum invenio. 

3H 



BOOK I. xLi.-xui. 

They were bound for the Treviri ^ — handed over to 
the protection of foreigners," There followed shame 
and pity and memories of her father Agrippa, of 
Augustus her grandfather. She was the daughter- 
in-law of Drusus, herself a wife of notable fruit- 
fulness and shining chastity. There was also her 
little son, born in the camp and bred the playmate 
of the legions ; whom soldier-like they had dubbed 
"Bootikins"^ — Caligula — because, as an appeal to 
the fancy of the rank and file, he generally wore the 
footgear of that name. Nothing, however, swayed 
them so much as their jealousy of the Treviri. They 
implored, they obstructed: — " She must come back, 
she must stay," they urged ; some running to inter- 
cept Agrippina, the majority hurrying back to Ger- 
manicus. Still smarting with grief and indignation, 
he stood in the centre of the crowd, and thus 
began : — 

XLII. " Neither my wife nor my son is dearer to me 
than my father and my country ; but his own majesty 
will protect my father, and its other armies the empire. 
My wife and children I would cheerfully devote to 
death in the cause of your glory ; as it is, I am remov- 
ing them from your madness. Whatever this impend- 
ing villainy of yours may prove to be, I prefer that it 
should be expiated by my own blood only, and that 
you should not treble your guilt by butchering the 
great-grandson of Augustus and murdering the 
daughter-in-law of Tiberius. For what in these 
latter days have you left unventured or unviolated ? 
What name am I to give a gathering like this ? Shall 
I call you soldiers — who have besieged the son of 
your emperor with your earthworks and your arms ? 
Or citizens — who have treated the authority of the 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

tarn proiecta senatus auctoritas ? Hostium quoque 
ius et sacra legationis et fas gentium rupistis. Di- 
vus lulius seditionem exercitus verbo uno compes- 
cuit, Quirites vocando qui sacramentum eius detrec- 
tabant; divus Augustus vultu et aspectu Actiacas 
legiones exterruit : nos, ut nondum eosdem, ita ex 
illis ortos, si Hispaniae Suriaeve miles aspernaretui', 
tamen mirum et indignum erat. Primane et viee- 
sima legiones, ilia signis a Tiberio acceptis, tu tot 
proeliorum soeia, tot praemiis aucta, banc tam ^ 
egregiam duci vestro gvatiam refertis? Hunc ego 
nuntium patri, laeta omnia aliis e provinciis audienti, 
feram ? ipsius tirones, ipsius veteranos non missione, 
non pecunia satiatos : hie tantum interfici centu- 
riones, eici tribunos, includi legatos, infecta sanguine 
castra, flumina, meque precai'iam animam inter infen- 
sos trahere. 

XLIII. " Cur enim primo contionis die ferrum illud, 
quod pectori meo infigere parabam, detraxistis, o 
inpi'ovidi amici ? Melius et amantius ille qui gladium 
offerebat. Cecidissem certe nondum tot flagitiorum 
exercitu meo conscius ; legissetis dueem, qui meam 
quidem mortem inpunitam sineret, Vari tamen et 
trium legionum ulcisceretur. Neque enim di sinant 

^ aucta, hanc tam Nipperdey, Andresen : aucta. 

^ Citizens, as opposed to soldiers : the occasion was the 
mutiny of the tenth legion in 47 B.C. A dubious story runs 
that long afterwards Severus Alexander repeated the device 
at Antioch : — Vos omnes hodie una voce, Quirites, dimiUani, 
et incertum an Quirites (Lampridius, chap. 53). 

* At Brindisi, in the winter of 30 B.C. But Germanicus 
seems to embellish the facts. 

3 The scene is in the camp of the first legion (chap. 39), 
to which Germanicus addresses his direct appeal -.—ta tot 
proeliorum socia e.q.s. The twentieth (Valeria vidrix), one 

316 



BOOK I. xLii.-xLiii. 

senate as a thing so abject ? You have outraged the 
privileges due even to an enemy, the sanctity of 
ambassadors, the law of nations. Tlie deified Julius 
crushed the insurrection of an army by one word : , 
they refused the soldiers' oath, and he addressed them 
as Quirites.^ A look, a glance, from the deified 
Augustus, and the legions of Actium quailed.^ I 
myself am not yet as they, but I spring of their line, 
and if the garrisons of Sjiain or Syria were to flout 
me, it would still be a wonder and an infamy. And 
is it the first and twentieth legions, — the men who 
took their standards from Tiberius, and you who 
have shared his many fields and thriven on his 
many bounties,^ — that make tliis generous return 
to their leader ? Is this the ucavs I must carry to 
my father, while he hears from other provinces that 
all is well — that his own recruits, his own veterans, 
are not sated yet with money and dismissals ; that 
here only centurions are murdered, tribunes ejected, 
generals imprisoned ; that camp and river are red 
M-ith blood, while I myself hnger out a precarious 
life among men that seek to take it away ? 

XLIII. " For why, in the first day's meeting, my 
short-sighted friends, did you \\Tench away the steel 
I was preparing to plunge in my breast ? Better and 
more lovingly the man who offered me his sword ! 
At least I should have fallen with not all my army's 
guilt upon my soul. You would have chosen a 
general, who, while leaving my own death unpun- 
ished, would have avenged that of Varus and his three 
legions. For, though the Belgians offer their ser- 

of those raised, possibly by Tiberius himself, to cope with the 
great Pannonian revolt of 6 a.d., is ilia as the more remote in 
thought, even if not in the order of words. 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

ut Belgarum quamquam ofFerentium decus ibtud et 
claritudo sit, subvenisse Romano nomini, compres- 
sisse Germaniae populos, Tua, dive Auguste, caelo 
recepta mens, tua, pater Druse, imago, tui memoria, 
isdem istis cum militibus, quos iam pudor et gloria 
intrat, eluant hanc maculam irasque civilis in exitium 
hostibus vertant. Vos quoque, quorum alia nunc ora, 
alia pectora contueor, si legatos senatui, obsequium 
imperatori, si mihi coniugem et filium redditis, disce- 
dite a contactu ae dividite turbidos : id stabile ad 
paenitentiam, id fidei vinculum erit." 

XLIV. SuppUces ad haec et vera exprobrari 
fatentes, orabant puniret noxios, ignosceret lapsis 
et duceret in hostem ; revocaretur coniunx, rediret 
legionum almnnus neve obses Gallis traderetur. 
Reditum Agrippinae excusavit ob imminentem 
partum et hiemem : venturum filium ; cetera ipsi 
exsequerentur, Discurrunt mutati et seditiosissi- 
mum quemque vinctos trahunt ad legatum legionis 
primae G. Caetronium, qui iudicium et poenas de 
singulis in hunc modum exercuit. Stabant pro con- 
tione legiones destrictis gladiis : reus in suggestu 
per tribunum ostendebatur ; si nocentem adelama- 

^ It has been shown by Mommsen that the child, in all prob- 
ability, was still-bom. 

318 



BOOK I. xLiii.-xLiv. 

vices, God forbid that theirs should be the honour and 
glory of vindicating the Roman name and quelhng 
the nations of Germany ! May thy spirit, Augustus, 
now received with thyself into heaven, — may thy^ 
image, my father Drusus, and the memory of thee, [ 
be with these same soldiers of yours, whose hearts^ 
are already opening to the sense of shame and of 
glory, to cancel this stain and convert our civil 
broils to the destruction of our enemies ! And you 
yourselves — for now I am looking into changed faces 
and changed minds — if you are willing to restore to 
the senate its deputies, to the emperor your obedi- 
ence, and to me my wife and children, then stand 
clear of the infection and set the mahgnants apart : 
that will be a security of repentance — that a guarantee 
of loyalty!" 

XLIV. His words converted them into suppliants ; 
they owned the justice of the charges and begged 
him to punish the guilty, forgive the erring, and lead 
them against the enemy. Let him recall his ydte ; 
let the nurshng of the legions return : he must not 
be given in hostage to Gauls ! His wife, he answered, 
must be excused: she could hardly return with 
winter and her confinement impending.^ His son, 
however, should come back to them : what was still 
to be done they could do themselves. — They were 
changed men now ; and, rushing in all directions, they 
threw the most prominent of the mutineers into chains 
and dragged them to Gains Caetronius, legate of the 
first legion, who dealt out justice — and punishment — 
to them one by one by the following method. The i 
legions were stationed in front with dra^^Ti swords ; f 
the accused was displayed on the platform by a 
tribune; if they cried "Guilty," he was thrown 

319 



THE ANNALS OF TAGITUS 

verant, praeoeps datus trucidabatur. Et gaudebat 
caedibus miles, tamquam semet absolveret; nee 
Caesar arcebat, quando nullo ipsius iussu penes 
eosdem saevitia facti et invidia erat. Secuti exem- 
plum veteran! baud multo post in Raetiam mit- 
tuntur, specie defendendae provinciae ob imminen- 
tis Suebos, ceterum ut avellerentur castris, truci- 
bus adhuc non minus asperitate remedii quam sce- 
leris memoria. Centurionatum inde egit. Citatus 
ab imperatore nomen, ordinem, patriam, numerum 
stipendiorum, quae strenue in proeliis fecisset, et 
cui erant dona ^ militaria, edebat. Si tribuni, si 
legio industriam innocentiamque adprobaverant, 
I'etinebat ordinem ; ^ ubi avaritiam aut crudelitatem 
consensu obiectavissent, solvebatur militia. 

XLV. Sic compositis praesentibus, haud minor 
moles supererat ob ferociam quintae et unetvice- 
simae legionum, sexagesimum apud lapidem (loco 
Vetera nomen est) hibernantium. Nam primi sedi- 
tionem coeptav erant : atrocissimum quodque faci- 
nus horum manibus patratum ; nee poena commili- 
tonum exterriti nee paenitentia conversi iras reti- 
nebant. Igitur Caesar arma, classem, socios demit- 
tere Rheno parat, si imperium detrectetur, belle 
certaturus. 

XLVI. At Romae nondum coguito qui fuisset 

^ dona Victorius : donaria. 
^ ordinem KiessUng : ordines. 

^ The province, which included on the north the frontier- 
district of Vindelicia, comprised the upper valleys 'of the 
Danube and Inn, the Grisons, Tyrol, and part of Bavaria. 

^ By the group of tribes, east of the Elbe and north of the 
Danube, which constituted the kingdom of Marbod (see II. 44). 

^ In the neighbourhood of Xanten. 

320 



BOOK I. xLiv.-XLvi. 

down and hacked to death. The troops revelled in 
the butchery, which they took as an act of puri- 
fication; nor was Germanicus inchned to restrain 
them — the orders had been none of his, and the 
perpetrators of the cruelty would have to bear its 
odium. The veterans followed the example, and 
shortly afterwards were ordered to Raetia ^ ; nomin- 
ally to defend the province against a threatened 
Sue\"ian invasion,^ actually to remove them from a 
camp grim even yet with remembered crimes and 
the equal horror of their purging. Then came a 
revision of the list of centurions. Each, on citation 
by the commander-in-chief, gave his name, company, 
and country ; the number of his campaigns, his dis- 
tinctions in battle and his miUtary decorations, if 
any. If the tribunes and his legion bore testimony 
to his energy and integrity, he kept his post : if 
they agreed in charging him with rapacity or 
cruelty, he was dismissed the service. 

XLV. This brought the immediate troubles to a 
standstill ; but there remained an obstacle of equal 
difficulty in the defiant attitude of the fifth and 
twenty-first legions, which were wintering some sixty 
miles away at the post known as the Old Camp.^ 
They had been the first to break into mutiny ; the 
worst atrocities had been their handiwork ; and now 
they persisted in their fury, undaunted by the 
punishment and indifferent to the repentance of their 
comrades. The Caesar, therefore, arranged for the 
dispatch of arms, vessels, and auxiUaries down the 
Rhine, determined, if his authority were rejected, to 
try conclusions with the sword. 

XL VI. Before the upshot of events in Illyricmn * 

* In the broad sense of Fannonia ,I)almatia, and Moesia. 

321 
VOL. II. Y 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

exitus in lllyrico, et legionum Germanicariun motu 
audito, trepida civitas incusare Tiberiirm quod, 
dum patres et plebem, invalida et inermia, cuncta- 
tione ficta ludificetur, dissideat interim miles neque 
duormn adulescentium nondum adulta auctoritate 
comprimi queat. Ire ipsum et opponere maiesta- 
tem imperatoriam debuisse cessuris, ubi principem 
longa experientia eundemque severitatis et muni- 
ficentiae summum vidissent. An Augustum fessa 
aetate totiens in Germanias commeare potuisse : 
Tiberium vigentem annis sedere in senatu, verba 
patrum cavillantem? Satis prospectum urbanae 
servituti : militai-ibus animis adhibenda fomenta, 
ut ferre pacem velint. 

XLVII. Immotum adversus eos sermones fixum- 
que Tiberio fuit non omittere caput rerum neque 
se remque publicam in casum dare. Multa quippe 
et diversa angebant : validior per Germaniam exer- 
citus, propior apud Pannoniam; ille Galliarum 
opibus subnixus, hie Italiae inminens : quos igitur 
anteferret? ac ne postpositi contumelia incende- 
rentur. At per filios pariter adiri maiestate salva, 
cui maior e longinquo reverentia. Simul adules- 
centibus excusatum quaedam ad patrem reicere, 
resistentisque Germanico aut Druso posse a se 
mitigari vel infringi : quod aliud subsidium, si impe- 

^ The rhetoric is more effective than accurate, since the 
latest expeditions of Augustus which can possibly be brought 
under the description in the text are dated 16 B.C. and 8 b,c. 
(D. Cass. LIV. 19 ; LV. 6). At the time of the latter, he was 
fifty-four years of age, and Tiberius was now fifty-six. 

322 



BOOK I. xLvi.-xLVii. 

was known at Rome, word came that the German 
legions had broken out. The panic-stricken capital 
turned on Tiberius : — " WTiile M-ith his hypocritical 
hesitation he was befooling the senate and commons, 
two powerless and unarmed bodies, meantime the 
troops were rising and could not be checked by the 
unripe authority of a pair of boys. He ought to 
have gone in person and confronted the rebels witli 
the majesty of the empire: they would have yielded 
at sight of a prince, old in experience, and supreme 
at once to punish or rev-ard. Could Augustus, in 
his declining years, make so many excmrsions into 
the Germanics ? and was Tiberius, in the prime of 
life,i to sit idle in the senate, ca\'ilhng at the Con- 
script Fathers' words? Ample provision had been 
made for the servitude of Rome : it was time to 
administer some sedative to the passions of the 
soldiers, and so reconcile them to peace." 

XLVII. To all this criticism Tiberius opposed an 
immutable and rooted determination not to endanger 
himself and the empire by leaving the centre of 
affairs. He had, indeed, difficulties enough of one 
sort or another to harass him. The German army 
was the stronger ; that of Pannonia the nearer : the 
one was backed by the resources of the Galhc pro- 
vinces; the other threatened Italy. WTiich, then, 
should come first? And what if those postponed 
should take fire at the shght ? But in the persons of 
his sons he could approach both at once, ■without 
hazarding the imperial majesty, always most vener- 
able from a distance. Further, it was excusable in 
the young princes to refer certain questions to their 
father, and it was in his power to pacify or crush 
resistance offered to Germanicus or Drusus; but 

323 
y2 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

ratorem sprevissent? Ceterum ut iam iamque itu- 
rus legit comites, conquisivit impedimenta, ador- 
navit navis : mox hiemem aut negotia varie causatus, 
primo prudentis, dein vulgum, diutissime provin- 
cias fefellit. 

XLVIII. At Germanicus, quamquam contracto 
exercitu et parata in defectores ultione, dandumi 
adhuc spatium ratus, si reeenti exemplo sibi ipsi 
consulerent, praemittit litteras ad Caecinam venire 
se valida manu ac, ni supplicium in malos praesu- 
mant, usurum promisca caede. Eas Caecina aquili- 
feris signiferisque et quod maxime castrorum sin- 
cerum erat occulte recitat, utque cunctos infamiae, 
se ipsos morti eximant hortatur : nam in pace causas 
et merita spectari; ubi bellum ingruat, innocentis 
ac noxios iuxta cadere. Illi, temptatis quos idoneos 
rebantm', postquam maiorem legionum partem in 
officio vident, de sententia legati statuunt tempus, 
quo foedissimum quemque et seditioni promptum 
ferro invadant. Tunc signo inter se dato inrumpunt 
contubernia, trucidant ignaros, nullo nisi consciis 
noscente quod caedis inititun, quis finis. 

XLIX. Diversa omnium, quae umquam acci- 
dere, civilium armorum facies. Non proelio, non 
adversis e castris, sed isdem e cubilibus, quos simul 

324 



BOOK I. xLvii.-xLix. 

let the emperor be scorned, and what resoiu-ce was 
left? — However, as though any moment might see 
his departure, he chose his escort, provided his 
equipage, and fitted out vessels. Then with a variety 
of pleas, based on the -vvintry season or the pressure 
of affairs, he deceived at first the shrewdest ; the 
populace, longer ; the provinces, longest of all. 

XLVIII. Meanwhile Germanicus had collected his 
force and stood prepared to exact a reckoning from 
the mutineers. Thinking it best, however, to allow 
them a further respite, in case they should consult 
their own safety by following the late precedent, he 
forwarded a letter to Caecina, saying that he was 
coming in strength, and, unless they forestalled him 
by executing the culprits, would put them impartially 
to the sword. Caecina read it privately to the eagle- 
bearers, the ensigns, and the most trustworthy men 
in the camp, urging them to save all from disgrace, 
and themselves from death. " For in peace," he 
said, " cases are judged on their merits ; when war 
threatens, the innocent and the guilty fall side by 
side." Accordingly they tested the men whom they 
considered suitable, and, finding that in the main the 
legions were still dutiful, •with the general's assent 
they fixed the date for an armed attack upon the 
most objectionable and active of the incendiaries. 
Then, passing the signal to one another, they broke 
into the tents and struck down their unsuspecting 
victims ; while no one, apart from those in the secret, 
knew how the massacre had begun or where it was 
to end. 

XLIX. No civil war of any period has presented 
the features of this. Not in battle, not from opposing 
camps, but comrades from the same bed — men who 

325 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

vescentis dies, simul quietos nox habuerat, disce- 
dunt in partis, ingerunt tela. Clamor, vulnera, 
sanguis palam, causa in occulto ; cuncta ^ fors regit. 
Et quidam bonorum caesi, postquam, intellect© 
in quos saeviretur, pessimi quoque arma rapuerant. 
Neque legatus aut tribunus moderator adfuit: 
permissa vulgo licentia atque ultio et satietas. 
Mox ingressus castra Germanicus, non medicinam 
illud plurimis cum lacrimis, sed cladem appellans 
cremari corpora iubet. 

Truces etiam turn animos cupido involat eundi 
in hostem, piaculum furoris; nee aliter posse pla- 
cari commilitonum manis, quam si pectoribus impiis 
honesta vulnera accepissent. Sequitur ardorem 
miUtum Caesar iunctoque ponte tramittit duode- 
cim milia e legionibus, sex et viginti socias cohortis, 
octo equitum alas, quarum ea seditione intemerata 
modestia fuit. 

L. Laeti neque procul German! agitabant, dum 
iustitio ob amissum Augustum, post discordiis 
attinemur. At Romanus agmine propero silvam 
Caesiam limitemque a Tiberio coeptum scindit, 
castra in limite locat, frontem ac tergum vallo, 
latera concaedibus munitus. Inde saltus obscuros 

^ cuncta Andresen : cetera. 

^ With the Ca,esian Forest and the Tiberian limes alike un- 
identified, and the locality of the Marsi unknown (accord- 
ing to Strabo, 290, they had anticipated deportation into 
Gaul by retreating ets ttjv ev ^ddet ^wpav), the topography 
of Grermanicus' raid must remain as obscure to the modem 
reader as it doubtless was to Tacitus. " It seems hardly 
possible to go beyond the likelihood that the Romans may 
have advanced, probably from Vetera, along the left bank of 
the Lippe, and then struck southward through a comparatively 
unknown co^lnt^y {saltus obscuros) towards the upper Ruhr, 

3^6 



BOOK I. xLix.-L. 

had eaten together by day and rested together at 
dark— they took their sides and hurled their missiles. 
The yells, the wounds, and the blood were plain 
enough ; the cause, invisible : chance ruled supreme. 
A number of the loyal troops perished as well : for, 
once it was clear who were the objects of attack, 
the malcontents abo had caught up arms. No general 
or tribune was there to restrain : licence was granted 
to the mob, and it might glut its vengeance to the full. 
Before long, Germanicus marched into the camp. 
" This is not a cure, but a calamity," he said, with a 
burst of tears, and ordered the bodies to be cremated. 

Even yet the temper of the soldiers remained 
savage and a sudden desire came over them to 
advance against the enemy : it would be the expiation 
of their madness ; nor could the ghosts of their com- 
panions be appeased till their o^\^l impious breasts 
had been marked with honourable wounds. Falling 
in with the enthusiasm of his troops, the Caesar laid 
a bridge over the Rhine, and threw across twelve 
thousand legionaries, with twenty-six cohorts of 
auxiliaries and eight divisions of cavalry, whose 
discipline had not been affected by the late mutiny. 

L. Throughout the pause, which the mourning for 
Augustus had begun and our discords prolonged, the 
Germans had been hovering gleefully in the neigh- 
bourhood. By a forced march, however, the Roman 
columns cut through the Caesian Forest and the line 
of delimitation commenced by Tiberius.^ By this 
line they pitched the camp, with their front and rear 
protected by embankments and the flanks by a 
barricade of felled trees. Then came a threading of 

and that the tribes living north of the Lippe endeavoured to 
intercept their retreat." Fumeaux. 

327 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

permeat consultatque ex duobus itineribus breve 
et solitum sequatur, an inpeditius et intemptatum 
eoque hostibus incautum. Delecta longiore via 
cetera adcelerantur : etenim attulerant exploratores 
festam earn Germanis noctem ac sollemnibus epulis 
ludicram. Caecina cum expeditis cohortibus prae- 
ire et obstantia silvarum amoliri iubetur; legiones 
modico intervallo sequuntur. luvit nox sideribus 
inlustris, ventumque ad vicos Marsorum et circum- 
datae stationes stratis etiam turn per cubilia prop- 
terque mensas, nullo metu, non antepositis vigiliis : 
adeo cuncta incuria disiecta erant neque belli timor, 
ac ne pax quidem nisi languida et soluta inter temu- 
lentos. 

LI. Caesar avidas legiones, quo latior populatio 
foret, quattuor in cuneos dispertit; quinquaginta 
milium spatium ferro flammisque pervastat. Non 
sexus, non aetas miserationem attulit : profana simul 
et sacra et celeben-imum illis gentibus templum 
quod Tanfanae ^ vocabant solo aequantur. Sine vul- 
nere milites, qui semisomnos, inermos aut palantis 
ceciderant. Excivit ea caedes Bructeros, Tubantes, 
Vsipetes, saltusque, per quos exercitui regressus, 
insedere. Quod gnarum duci incessitque itineri et 
proelio. Pars equitum et auxiliariae cohortes duce- 

^ Tanfanae Beroaldtts : tafanae. 



^ The " temple " was probably a consecrated grove and 
altar ; compare the well-known passage {Germ. 9) : — nee 
cohibere parietibus deos neque in uUam humani oris speciem 
adsimulare ex magnitudine caelestium arbitrarUur : Ivxms ac 
nemora consecrant e.q.s. For Tanfana the only other evidence 
is a ninth- or tenth-century line : — Zanfana sentit morgane 
feiziu scdfchiniu (Zanfana sendet morgen kleine feiste Schafe). 

328 



BOOK I. L.-Li. 

gloomy forests and a consultation which of two roads 
to follow ; the one short and usual, the other more 
difficult and unexplored, and therefore left unguarded 
by the enemy. The longer route was chosen, but 
otherwise all speed was made : for scouts had brought 
in news that the night was a German festival and 
wouldbe celebrated with games and a solemn banquet. 
Caecina was ordered to move ahead with the unen- 
cumbered cohorts and clear a passage through the 
woods : the legions followed at a moderate interval. 
The clear, starry night was in our favour ; the 
Marsian villages were reached, and a ring of pickets 
was posted round the enemy, who were still lying, 
some in bed, others beside their tables, without mis- 
givings and with no sentries advanced. All was 
disorder and impro\idence : there was no apprehen- 
sion of war, and even their peace was the nerveless 
lethargy of drunkards. 

LI. To extend the scope of the raid, the Caesar 
divided his eager legions into four bodies, and, for 
fifty miles around, wasted the country with sword 
and flame. Neither age nor sex inspired pity : 
places sacred and profane were razed indifferently to 
the ground ; among them, the most noted religious 
centre of these tribes, known as the temple of 
Tanfana.'^ The troops escaped without a wound : 
they had been cutting down men half-asleep, unarmed 
or dispersed. 

The carnage brought the Bructeri, Tubantes, and 
ITsipetes into the field ; and they occupied the forest 
passes by which the army was bound to return. 
This came to the prince's ear, and he took the road 
prepared either to march or to fight. A detachment 
of cavalr}' and ten auxiliarj' cohorts led the way, then 

329 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

bant, mox prima legio, et mediis impedimentis 
sinistrum latus unetvicesimani, dextrum quinta;ni 
clausere; vicesima legio terga firmavit, post ceteri 
sociorum. Sed hostes, donee agmen per saltus por- 
rigeretur, immoti, dein latera et frontem modice 
adsultantes, tota vi novissimos incurrere. Turba- 
banturque densis Germanorum catervis leves co- 
hortes, cum Caesar, advectns ad vicesimanos, voce 
magna hoc illud tempus obliterandae seditionis 
clamitabat: pergerent, properarent culpam in 
decus vertere. Exarsere animis unoque impetu 
perruptum hostem redigunt in aperta caedunt- 
que : simul primi agminis copiae evasere silvas 
castraque communivere. Quietum inde iter, fidens- 
que recentibus ac priorum oblitus miles in hibemis 
locatur. 

LII. Nuntiata ea Tiberium laetitia curaque adfe- 
cere : gaudebat oppressam seditionem, sed quod 
largiendis pecuniis et missione festinata favorem 
militum quaesivisset, bellica quoque Germanici 
gloria angebatur. Rettulit tamen ad senatimi de 
rebus gestis multaque de virtute eius memoravit, 
magis in speciem verbis adornata quam ut penitus 
sentire crederetur. Paucioribus Drusum et finem 
Illyrici motus laudavit, sed intentior et fida ora- 
tione. Cunctaque quae Germanicus indulserat ser- 
vavit etiam apud Pannonicos exercitus. 
330 



BOOK I. LI.-LII. 

came the first legion ; the baggage-train was in the 
centre ; the twenty-first legion guarded the left 
flank; the fifth, the right; the twentieth held the 
rear, and the rest of the allies followed. The enemy, 
however, made no move, till the whole line was 
defiling through the wood : then instituting a half- 
serious attack on the front and flanks, they threw 
their full force on the rear. The light-armed cohorts 
were falling into disorder before the serried German 
masses, when the Caesar rode up to the men of the 
twenty-first, and, raising his voice, kept crying that 
now was their time to efface the stain of mutiny : — 
" Forward, and make speed to turn disgrace into 
glory!" In a flame of enthusiasm, they broke 
through their enemies at one charge, drove them 
into the open and cut them down. Simultaneously 
the forces in the van emerged from the forest and 
fortified a camp. From this point the march was 
unmolested, and the soldiers, emboldened by their 
late performances, and forgetful of the past, were 
stationed in winter quarters. 

LI I. The news both relieved and disquieted 
Tiberius. He was thankful that the rising had been 
crushed; but that Germanicus should have earned 
the good-will of the troops by his grants of money 
and acceleration of discharges — to say nothing of his 
laurels in the field — there was the rub ! However, in a 
motion before the senate, he acknowledged his services 
and enlarged on his courage ; but in terms too speci- 
ously florid to be taken as the expression of his inmost 
feelings. He expressed his satisfaction with Drusus 
and the conclusion of the trouble in Illyricum more 
briefly ; but he was in earnest, and his language honest. 
In addition, he confirmed to the Pannonian legions 
all concessions granted by Germanicus to his own. 

331 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

LIII. Eodem anno lulia supremum diem obiit, 
ob impudicitiam olim a patre Augusto Pandateria 
insula, niox oppido Reginorum, qui Siculum fretum 
accolunt, clausa. Fuerat in niatrimonio Tiberii 
florentibus Gaio et Lucio Caesaribus spreveratque 
ut inparem; nee alia tarn intima Tiberio causa cur 
Rhodum abscederet. Imperium adeptus extorrem, 
infamem et post interfectum Postumum Agrippam 
omnis spei egenam inopia ac tabe longa peremit, 
obscuram fore neceni longinquitate exilii ratus. 
Par causa saevitiae in Sempronium Gracchum, 
qui, familia nobili, sollers ingenio et prave facundus, 
eandem luliam in matrimonio Marci Agrippae 
temeraverat. Nee is libidini finis : traditam Tiberio 
pervicax adulter contumacia et odiis in maritum 
accendebat; litteraeque, quas lulia patri Augusto 
cum insectatione Tiberii scripsit, a Gi-acclio compo- 
sitae credebantur. Igitur amotus Cercinam, Africi 
maris insulam, quattuordecim annis exilium tole- 
ravit. Tunc milites ad caedem missi invenere in 
prominenti litoris, nihil laetum opperientem. Quo- 
rum adventu breve tempus petivit, ut suprema man- 
data uxori Alliariae per litteras daret, cervicemque 

^ Daughter of Augustus by Scribonia, and his only child 
(born 39 B.C., died 14 a.d.); married in 25 b.c, to her first 
cousin M. Marcellus, and upon his death without issue, two 
years later, to M. Vipsanius Agrippa, by whom she had three 
sons, C. and L. Caesar and Agrippa Postumus, with two 
daughters, Julia and Germanicus' wife Agrippina ; transferred 
after Agrippa's death to Tiberius (II B.C.), who was compelled 
to divorce his wife Vipsania for the occasion; disgraced and 
exiled in 2 B.C. 

2 Vandotena (Ventotene), a barren island north-west from 
the Bay of Naples. 

'■' Reggio. 



BOOK I. Liii. 

LIII. This year saw the decease of JuUa ; ^ whose 
licentiousness had long ago driven her father, 
Augustus, to confine her, first in the islet of Panda- 
teria,2 and latterly in the town of Rhegium ^ on the 
Sicilian Strait. Wedded to Tiberius while Gains and 
Lucius Caesar were still in their heyday, she had 
despised him as her inferior ; and this, in reaUty, was 
the inner reason for his retirement to Rhodes. Once 
upon the throne, he left her, exiled, disgraced, and 
(since the kilUng of Agrippa Postumus) * utterly 
hopeless, to perish of destitution and slow dechne : 
the length of her banishment, he calculated, would 
obscure the mode of her removal. A similar motive 
dictated his barbarous treatment of Sempronius 
Gracchus, a man of high birth, shrewd wit and 
perverted eloquence ; who had seduced the same 
Julia while she was still the \sife of Marcus Agrippa. 
Nor was this the close of the intrigue : for when 
she was made over to Tiberius, her persevering 
adulterer worked her into a fever of defiance and 
hatred towards her husband ; and her letter to her 
father Augustus, with its tirade against Tiberius, was 
beUeved to have been drafted by Gracchus. He was 
removed, in consequence, to Cercina,^ an island in 
African waters ; where he endured his banishment 
for fourteen years. Now the soldiers sent to despatch 
him found him on a projecting strip of shore, awaiting 
the worst. As they landed, he asked for a few 
minutes' grace, so that he could write his final instruc- 
tions to his wife Alharia. This done, he offered his 

* See above, chaps. 5-6. The implication is that she saw 
no hope from her son-in-law, Germanicus. 

* In reality, two small islands (Kerkena) in the Gtilf of 
Gabcs. 

333 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

percussoribus obtulit : constantia mortis haud in- 
dignus Sempronio nomine : vita degeneraverat. Qui- 
dam non Roma eos milites, sed ab L. Asprenate, 
pro consule Africae, missos tradidere, auctore Tibe- 
rio, qui famam caedis posse in Asprenatem verti 
frustra speraverat. 

LIV. Idem annus novas caerimonias accepit 
addito sodalium Augustaliuni sacerdotio, ut quon- 
dam Titus Tatius retinendis Sabinorum sacris sodalis 
Titios ^ instituerat. Sorte ducti e primoribus civi- 
tatis unus et viginti : Tiberius Drususque et Clau- 
dius et Germanicus adiciuntur. Ludos Augustalis 
tunc primum coeptos turbavit discordia ex certa- 
mine histrionum. Indulserat ei ludicro Augustus, 
dum Maecenati obtemperat effuso in amorem Ba- 
thylli ; neque ipse abhorrebat talibus studiis, et 
civile rebatur misceri voluptatibus vulgi. " Alia Tibe- 
rio morum via : sed populum per tot annos moUiter 
habitum nondum audebat ad duriora vertere. 

LV. Druso Caesare C. Norbano consulibus, decer- 
nitur Germanico triumphus, manente bello ; quod 
quamquam in aestatem summa ope parabat, initio 
veris et repentino in Chattos excursu praecepit. 

^ Titios Vertraniiis : tatios. 

^ An ancient priestliood, the origin and functions of which 
are equally obscure. 

2 Germanicus' brother, the future emperor. After his own 
deification, the full style of the association became sodaies 
AugnstaJes Claudiales. 

3 See above, chap. 15. 

* He was a freedman and friend of Augustus, the rival of 
Pylades, and yAi'h him the creator of the pantomime. 

* On the right bank of the Rhine in the Hesse-Nassau dis- 

334 



BOOK I. Liii.-LV. 

neck to the assassins, and met death "with a firmness 
not unworthy of the Sem.pronian name from which 
liis life had been a degeneration. Some state that 
the soldiers were not sent from Rome, but from 
Lucius Asprenas, proconsul of Africa : a version due 
to Tiberius, who had hoped, though vainly, to lay 
the scandal of the assassination at Asprenas' door. 

LIV. The year also brought a novelty in religious 
ceremonial, which was enriched by a new college of 
Augustal priests, on the pattern of the old Titian 
brotherhood * founded by Titus Tatius to safeguard 
the Sabine rites. Twenty-one members were drawn 
by lot from the leading Roman houses : Tiberius, 
Dmsus, Claudius,^ and Germanicus were added. The 
Augustal Games,^ now first instituted, were marred 
by a disturbance due to the rivalry of the actors. 
Augustus had countenanced these theatrical exhibi- 
tions in complaisance to Maecenas, who had fallen 
violently in love with Bathyllus.* Besides, he had no 
personal dislike for amusements of the type, and con- 
sidered it a graceful act to mix in the pleasures of 
the crowd. The temper of Tiberius had other ten- 
dencies, but as yet he lacked the courage to force 
into the ways of austerity a nation which had been 
for so many years pampered. 

LV. Drusus Caesar and Gains Norbanus were now A.v.a 7cs ■ 
consuls, and a triumph was decreed to Germanicus ^^' ^* 
with the war still in progress. He was preparing to 
prosecute it with his utmost power in the summer; 
but in early spring he anticipated matters by a 
sudden raid against the Chatti.* Hopes had arisen 

trict. The trib6, hostile to Rome, was equally so to Arminios 
and the Cherusci. 

335 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

Nam spes incesserat dissidere hostem in Arminium 
ac Segestem, insignem utrumque perfidia in nos aut 
fide. Arminius turbator Germaniae, Segestes parari 
rebellionem saepe alias et supremo convivio, post 
quod in arma itum, aperuit suasitque Varo ut se et 
Arminium et ceteros proceres vinciret : nihil ausu- 
ram plebem principibus amotis ; atque ipsi tempus 
fore, quo crimina et innoxios discemeret. Sed Varus 
fato et vi Armini cecidit ; Segestes quamquam con- 
sensu gentis in bellum tractus, discors manebat, 
auctis privatim odiis, quod Arminius filiam eius 
alii pactam, rapuerat, gener invisus inimici soceri ; 
quaeque apud Concordes vincula caritatis, incita- 
menta irarum apud infensos erant. 

LVI. Igitur Germanicus quattuor legiones, quin- 
que auxiliarium milia et tumultuarias catervas 
Germanorum cis Rhenum colentium Caecinae tra- 
dit; totidem legiones, duplicem sociorum numerum 
ipse ducit, positoque castello super vestigia paterni 
praesidii in monte Tauno, expeditum exercitum in 
Chattos rapit, L. Apronio ad munitiones viarum 
et fluminimi relicto. Nam (rarum illi caelo) sicci- 
tate et amnibus modicis inoifensum iter propera- 
verat, imbresque et fluminum auctus regredienti 



1 A latinized form of Hermann. Most of the ascertainable 
facts with regard to his career may be gleaned from the first 
two books of the Aimals : see the remarkable tribute in II. 88. 

2 See p. 248, n. 

^ The Hohe — though the ancient name has been restored — 
between the Rhine and the Nidda. 



BOOK I. Lv.-Lvi. 

that the enemy was becoming diWded between 
Arminius^ and Segestes : both famous names, one for 
perfidy towards us, the other for good faith. Ar- 
minius was the troubler of Germany : Segestes had 
repeatedly given warning of projected rising^;, 
especially at the last great banquet which preceded 
the appeal to arms ; when he urged Varus to arrest 
Arminius, himself, and the other chieftains, on the 
ground that, with their leaders out of the way, the 
mass of the people would venture nothing, while he 
would have time enough later to discriminate between 
guilt and innocence. Varus, however, succumbed to 
his fate and the sword of Arminius ^ ; Segestes, 
though forced into the war by the united will of 
the nation, continued to disapprove, and domestic 
episodes embittered the feud: for Arminius by 
carrying off his daughter, who was pledged to 
another, had made himself the hated son-in-law of 
a hostile father, and a relationship which cements 
the affection of friends now stimulated the fury of 
enemies. 

LVI. Germanicus, then, after handing over to 
Caecina four legions, with five thousand auxiliaries 
and a few German bands drawn at smnmarv notice 
from the west bank of the Rhine, took the field 
himself with as many legions and double the niunber 
of alUes. Erecting a fort over the remains of his 
father's works on Mount Taunus,^ he swept his army 
at full speed against the Chatti : Lucius Apronius 
was left behind to construct roads and bridges. For 
owing to the drought — a rare event under those 
skies — and the consequent shallowness of the 
streams, Germanicus had pushed on without a check ; 
and rains and floods were to be apprehended on the 

337 

VOL. 11. 2 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

metuebantur.^ Sed Chattis adeo inprovisus advenit, 
ut quod imbecillum aetate ac sexu statim captum 
aut trucidatum sit. luventus flumen Adranam 
nando tramiserat,^ Romanosque pontem coeptantis 
arcebant. Dein tormentis sagittisque pulsi, temp- 
tatis frustra condicionibus pacis, cum quidam ad 
Germanicum perfugissent, reliqui omissis pagis vicis- 
que in silvas disperguntur. Caesar, incenso Mattio 
(id genti caput), aperta populatus vertit ad Rhenum, 
non auso hoste terga abeuntium lacessere, quod 
illi moris, quotiens astu magis quam per fonnidi- 
nem cessit. Fuerat animus Cheruscis iuvare Chattos, 
sed exterruit Caecina hue illuc ferens arma ; et Marsos 
congredi ausos prospero proelio cohibuit. 

LVII. Neque multo post legati a Segeste vene- 
runt auxilium orantes adversus vim popularium 
a quis circumsedebatur, validiore apud eos Armi- 
nio, quoniam bellum suadebat : nam barbaris, quanto 
quis audacia promptus, tanto magis fidus rebusque 
motis ^ potior habetur. Addiderat Segestes legatis 
filium, nomine Segimundum ; sed iuvenis conscientia 
cunctabatur. Quippe, anno quo Germaniae desci- 
vere, sacerdos apud aram Vbiorum creatus, ruperat 
vittas, profugus ad rebellis. Adductus tamen in 

1 metuebantur Lipsius : metuebatur. 

* tramiserat Acidaliiis : tramiserit. 

^ rebusque motis Lipsius : rebus commotis. 



^ A stream falling into the Fulda (the tributary of the 
Weser on which Cassel stands). 

2 North of the Eder, but unidentified. 

8 North-east of the Chatti, between the Weser and the 
Elbe. 

* See p. 306, n. 1. 

338 



BOOK I. Lvi.-Lvii. 

return journey. Actually, his descent was so com- 
plete a surprise to the Chatti that all who suffered 
from the disabilities of age or sex were immediately 
taken or slaughtered. The able-bodied males had 
swTun the Eder,^ and, as the Romans began to 
bridge it, made an effort to force them back. Re- 
})elled by the engines and discharges of arrows, they 
tried, without effect, to negotiate terms of peace : 
a few then came over to Germanicus, while the rest 
abandoned their townships and \'iUages, and scattered 
through the woods. First burning the tribal head- 
quarters at Mattium,2 the Caesar laid waste the open 
country, and turned back to the Rhine, the enemy 
not daring to harass the rear of the withdrawing 
force — their favourite manoeuvre in cases where 
strategy rather than panic has dictated their retreat. 
The Cherusci^ had been incUned to throw in their 
lot with the Chatti, but were deterred by a series 
of rapid movements on the part of Caecina : the 
Marsi, who hazarded an engagement, he checked 
in a successful action. 

LVII. It was not long before envoys arrived from 
Segestes with a petition for aid against the violence 
of his countrymen, by whom he was besieged, 
Arminius being now the dominant figure, since he 
advocated war. For with barbarians the readier a 
man is to take a risk so much the more is he the man 
to trust, the leader to prefer when action is afoot. 
Segestes had included his son Segimundus in the 
embassy, though conscience gave the youth pause. 
For in the year when the Germanics revolted, priest 
though he was, consecrated at the Altar of the Ubians,* 
he had torn off his fillets and fled to join the rebels. 
Once persuaded, however, that he could still hope 

339 
z2 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

spem clemeutiae Romanae, pertulit patris mandala, 
benigneque exceptus cum praesidio Gallicam in 
ripara missus est. Germanico pretium fuit conver- 
tere agmen, pugnatumque in obsidentis, et ereptus 
Segestes magna cum propinquorum et clientium 
manu. Inerant feminae nobiles, inter quas uxor 
Arminii eademque filia Segestis, mariti magis quam 
parentis animo neque victa in lacrimas neque voce 
supplex ; compressis intra sinum manibus graviduiji 
uterum intuens. Ferebantur et spolia Varianae cladis, 
plerisque eorum qui tum in deditionem veniebant 
praedae data: simul Segestes ipse, ingens visu et 
memoria bonae societatis inpavidus. 

LVIII. Verba eius in hunc modum fuere : " Non 
hie mihi primus erga populum Romaniun fidei et 
constantiae dies. Ex quo a divo Augusto civitate 
donatus sum, amicos inimicosque ex vestris utili- 
tatibus delegi, neque odio patriae (quippe proditores 
etiam iis quos anteponunt invisi sunt^), verum quia 
Romanis Germanisque idem conducere et pacem 
quam bellum probabam. Ergo raptorem filiae meae, 
violatorem foederis vestri, Arminium, apud Varum, 
qui tum exercitui praesidebat, reum feci. Dilatus 
segnitia ducis, quia parum praesidii in legibus erat, 
ut me et Arminium et conscios vinciret flagitavi: 
testis ilia nox, mihi utinam potius novissima! 

^ invisi sunt Beroaldus : invisunt. 
340 



BOOK I. LVTI.-LVIII. 

in Roman clemency, he brought his father's message, 
and, after a kind reception, was sent over with a 
guard to the GalUc bank. Germanicus thought it 
worth his while to turn back, engaged the blockading 
forces, and rescued Segestes with a large company 
of his relatives and dependants. They included 
some women of high birth, among them the wife of 
Arminius, who was at the same time the daughter of 
Segestes, though there was more of the husband than 
the father in that temper which sustained her, uncon- 
quered to a tear, without a word of entreaty, her 
hands clasped tightly in the folds of her robe and her 
gaze fixed on her heavy womb. Trophies even of the 
Varian disaster were brought in — booty allotted in 
many cases to the very men now surrendering. 
Segestes himself was present, a huge figure, dauntless 
in the recollection of treaties honourably kept. 

LVIII. His words were to the following effect : — 
'• This is not my first day of loyalty and constancy 
to the people of Rome. From the moment when 
the deified Augustus made me a Roman citizen I 
have chosen my friends and my enemies with a view- 
to your interests : not from hatred of my own country 
(for the traitor is loathsome even to the party of 
his choice), but because I took the advantage of Rome 
and Germany to be one, and peace a better thing 
than war. For that reason I accused Arminius — to 
me the abductor of a daughter, to you the violator of 
a treaty — in presence of \'arus, then at the head of 
your army. Foiled by the general's delay, and 
knowing how frail were the protections of the law, 
I begged him to lay in irons Arminius, his accomphces, 
and myself. That night is my witness, which I 
would to God had been my last ! What followed may 

341 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

Quae secuta sunt, defleri magis quam defendi 
possunt: ceterum et inieci catenas Arminio, et a 
factione eius iniectas perpessus sum. Atque ubi 
primum tui copia, Vetera novis et quieta turbidis 
antehabeo, neque ob praemium, sed ut me perfidia 
exsolvam, simul genti Germanorum idoneus conci- 
liator, si paenitentiam quam pemiciem maluerit. 
Pro iuventa et eiTore filii veniam precor : filiam 
necessitate hue adductam fateor. Tuum erit con- 
sultare utrum praevaleat quod ex Arminio concepit 
an quod ex me genita est." Caesar dementi response 
liberis propinquisque eius incolumitatem, ipsi sedem 
vetere^ in provincia pollicetur. Exercitum reduxit 
nomenque imperatoris, auctore Tiberio, accepit. 
Arminii uxor virilis sexus stirpem edidit: educatus 
Ravennae puer quo mox ludibrio conflictatus sit, 
in tempore memorabo. 

LIX. Fama dediti benigneque excepti Seges- 
tis vulgata, ut quibusque bellum invitis aut cupien- 
tibus erat, spe vel dolore accipitur. Arminium, 
super insitam violentiam, rapta uxor, subiectus 
servitio uxoris uterus vaecordem agebant; voli- 
tabatque per Cheruscos, arma in Segestem, arma in 
Caesarem poscens. Neque probris temperabat : 
egregium patrem, magnum imperatorem, fortem 
exercitum, quorum tot manus unam mulierculam 
avexerint. Sibi tres legiones, totidem legatos pro- 
cubuisse ; non enim se proditione neque adversus 

^ uetere Lipsius {et M^) : uetera. 

^ On the left — " Gallic " — bank. The Grerman territory- 
lost after the Varian disaster is regarded as being still in theory, 
though no longer in fact, a province. 

* The account is lost, and in XI. 16 the plain implication is 
that the boy was already dead. 

342 



BOOK I. Lviii,— Lix. 

be deplored more easily than defended. Still, I 
have thrown my chains on Arminius : I have felt his 
partisans throw theirs on me. And now, at my first 
meeting %\-ith you, I prefer old things to new, calm 
to storm — not that I seek a reward, but I wish to 
free myself from the charge of broken trust, and to 
be at the same time a meet intercessor for the people 
of Germany, should it prefer repentance to destruc- 
tion. For my son and the errors of his youth I ask a 
pardon. My daughter, I own, is here only by force. 
It is for you to settle which shall count the more — 
that she has conceived by Arminius, or that she was 
begotten by me." 

The Caesar's reply was generous : to his relatives 
and children he promised indemnity : to himself, a 
residence in the old province.^ Then he returned 
with his army, and at the instance of Tiberius took 
the title of Imperator. Arminius' wife gave birth to 
a male child, who was brought up at Ravenna : the 
humihation which he had to suffer later I reserve for 
the proper place.^ 

LIX. The report of Segestes' surrender and his 
gracious reception, once it became generally known, 
was heard with hope or sorrow by the advocates or 
opponents of war. Arminius, violent enough by 
nature, was driven frantic by the seizure of his wife 
and the subjection to slavery of her unborn child. 
He flew through the Cherusci, demanding war against 
Segestes, war against the Caesar. There was no 
sparing of invectives : — " A peerless father ! a great 
commander ! a courageous army ! whose united 
powers had carried off one wretched woman. Before 
his own sword three legions, three generals, had 
fallen. For he practised war, not by the help of 

343 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

feminas gravidas, sed palam adversus armatos 
bellum tractare; cerni adhuc Germanorum in lucis 
signa Romana, quae dis patriis suspenderit. Coleret 
Segestes victam ripam, redderet fllio sacerdotium 
hominum : Germanos numquam satis excusaturos, 
quod inter Albim et Rhenum virgas et securis et 
togam viderint. Aliis gentibus ignorantia imperii 
Romani inexperta esse supplicia, nescia tributa : 
quae quoniam exuerint, inritusque discesserit ille 
inter numina dicatus Augustus, ille delectus Tibe- 
rius, ne inperitum adulescentulum, ne seditiosum 
exercitum pavescerent. Si patriam, parentes, anti- 
qua mallent quam dominos et colonias novas, 
Arminium potius gloriae ac libertatis, quam Seges- 
tem flagitiosae servitutis ducem sequerentur." 

LX. Conciti per haec non modo Cherusci, sed 
contevminae gentes, tractusque in partis Inguiome- 
rus, Arminii patruus, vetere ^ apud Romanos aucto- 
ritate ; unde raaior Caesari metus ; et ne bellum 
mole una ingrueret, Caecinam cum quadraginta 
cohortibus Romanis distrahendo hosti per Bruc- 
teros ad flumen Amisiam mittit, equitem Pedo 
praef actus finibus Frisiorum ducit. Ipse inpositas 
navibus quattuor legiones per lacus vexit ; simulque 

^ vetere Wesenberg : veteri. 

u^ 1 The sarcasm is evidently directed at the cult of Augustus. 

* Actually Arminius was only a trifle the senior : compare 
n. 73 with n. 88. 

' A curious expression for his own four legions of the Lower 
Army (chap. 31). 

344 



BOOK I. LIX.-LX. 

treason nor against pregnant women, but in open day 
and against men who carried arms. In the groves of 
Germany were still to be seen the Roman standards 
which he had hung aloft to the gods of their fathers. 
Let Segestes inhabit the conquered bank, and make 
his son once more a priest — to mortal deities :^ one 
fact the Germans could never sufficiently condone, 
that their eyes had seen the Rods, the Axes, and 
the Toga between the Elbe and the Rhine. Other 
nations, unacquainted with the dominion of Rome, 
had neither felt her punishments nor known her 
exactions : seeing that they had rid themselves of 
both, and that the great Augustus, hallowed as deity, 
and his chosen Tiberius had departed foiled, let them 
never quail before a callow youth,^ before a disaffected 
army ! If they loved their country, their parents, their 
ancient ways, better than despots and new colonies, 
then let them follow Arminius to glory and freedom 
rather than Segestes to shame and slavery ! " 

LX. His appeal roused, not the Chertisci only, but 
the bordering tribes as well ; and it drew into the 
confederacy his uncle Inguiomerus, whose prestige 
had long stood high with the Romans. This deepened 
the alarm of Germanicus, and, to prevent the onslaught 
from breaking in one great wave, he despatched 
Caecina with forty Roman cohorts^ through the 
Bructeri to the Ems, so as to divide the enemy, while 
the prefect Pedo * led the cavaliy along the Frisian 
frontier. 

He himself, with four legions on board, sailed 
through the lakes ; and foot, horse, and fleet met 

* Presumed to be Ovid's friend Pedo Albinovanus {ex Ponto, 
TV. 10), author of a poem on the campaigns of Germanicus 
(Sen. suas. I. 14). The Frisii occupied the coastal district 
between the Zuydersee and the Ems {FrUsland). 

345 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

pedes, eques, classis ^ apud praedictum amnem 
convenere. Chauci, cum auxilia pollicerentur, in 
commilitium adsciti sunt. Bructeros sua urentis 
expedita cum manu L. Stertinius missu Germanici 
fudit; interque caedem et praedam repperit unde- 
vicesimae legionis aquilam cum Varo amissam. 
Ductum inde agmen ad ultimos Bructerorum, quan- 
tumque Amisiam et Lupiam amnis inter vastatum, 
baud procul Teutoburgiensi saltu, in quo reliquiae 
Vari legionumque insepultae dicebantur. 

LXI. Igitur cupido Caesarem invadit solvendi 
suprema militibus ducique, permoto ad miserationem 
omni qui aderat exercitu ob propinquos, amicos, 
denique ob casus bellorum et sortem hominum. 
Praemisso Caecina, ut occulta saltuum scrutaretur 
pontesque et aggeres umido paludum et fallacibus 
campis inponeret, incedunt maestos locos visuque 
ac memoria deformis.^ Prima Vari castra lato ambitu 
et dimensis px-incipiis trium legionum manus osten- 
tabant ; dein semiruto vallo, humili fossa accisae 
iam reliquiae consedisse intellegebantur : medio 
campi albentia ossa, ut fugerant, ut restiterant, 
disiecta vel aggerata. Adiacebant fragmina telo- 
rum equorumque artus, simul truncis arborum 

^ classis Lipsius : classes. 

2 deformis Beroaldus : deformides. 



^ The four legions are those of the Upper Army : the 
** Lakes " are now one with the Zuydersee. The object of 
Germanicus' vast detour, and, indeed, the coiirse of the whole 
campaign, are obscure in the extreme : for a discussion, see 
Fumeaux' Excursus. 

2 The whole army, not simply the advanced party under 
Stertinius. 



346 



BOOK I. LX.-LX1. 

simultaneously on the river mentioned.^ The Chauci 
promised a contingent, and were given a place in the 
ranks. The Bructeri began to fire their belongings, 
but were routed by Lucius Stertinius, who had been 
sent out by Germanicus -with a detachment of light- 
armed troops ; and while the Idlling and looting were 
in progress, he discovered the eagle of the nineteenth 
legion, which had been lost with Varus. Thence the 
column 2 moved on to the extremity of the Bructeran 
possessions, wasting the whole stretch of coxmtry 
between the Ems and the Lippe. They were now 
not far from the Teutoburgian Forest,^ where, it 
was said, the remains of Varus and his legions lay 
unburied. 

LXI. There came upon the Caesar, therefore, a 
passionate desire to pay the last tribute to the fallen 
and theii- leader, while the whole army present with 
him were stirred to pity at thought of their kindred, 
of their friends, ay ! and of the chances of battle and 
of the lot of mankind. Sending Caecina forward to 
explore the secret forest passes and to throw bridges 
and causeways over the flooded marshes and 
treacherous levels, they pursued their march over the 
dismal tract, hideous to sight and memory. Varus' 
first camp, with its broad sweep and measured spaces 
for officers and eagles, advertised the labours of three 
legions : then a half-ruined wall and shallow ditch 
showed that there the now broken remnant had taken 
cover. In the plain between were bleaching bones, 
scattered or in little heaps, as the men had fallen, 
fleeing or standing fast. Hard by lay sphntered 
spears and limbs of horses, while human skulls were 

' The problem of its position has been endlessly debated, 
but appears not to be certainly soluble. 

347 



THE ANNALS OF TAGITUS 

antefixa ora. Lucis propinquis barbarae arae, apud 
quas tribunos ac primorum ordinum centuriones 
mactaverant. Et cladis eius superstites, pugnam 
aut vincula elapsi, referebant hie cecidisse legates, 
illic raptas aquilas ; primum ubi vulnus Varo adactum, 
ubi infelici dextera et suo ictu mortem invenerit; 
quo tribunal! contionatus Arminius, quot patibula 
captivis, quae scrobes, utque signis et aquilis per 
superbiam inluserit. 

LXII. Igituv Romanus qui aderat exercitus, 
sextum post cladis annum, trium legionum ossa, 
nullo noscente alienas reliquias an suorum hiuno 
tegeret, omnis ut coniunctos, ut consanguineos, 
aucta in hostem ira, maesti simul et infensi conde- 
bant. Primum exstruendo tumulo caespitem Caesar 
posuit, gratissimo munere in defunctos et praesen- 
tibus doloris socius. Quod Tiberio haud pfobatum, 
seu cuncta Germanici in deterius trahenti, fiive 
exercitiutn imagine caesorum insepultorumque tar- 
datum ad proelia et formidolosiorem hostem cre- 
debat; neque imperatorem auguratu et vetustissi- 
mis caerimoniis praeditum adtrectare feralia debuisse. 

LXIII. Sed Germanicus cedentem in avia Ar- 
minium secutus, ubi primum copfa fuit, evehi 



^ For other Roman instances of the familiar preju4ice 
against all contact, even ocular, between the consecrated a.^d 
the dead, compare Sen. Cons, ad Marc. 15 (Tiberius delivering' 
the funeral panegyric on his son interiedo tantummodo vela- 
mento quod pontificis ociilosafunero arceret) and D. Cass. LX. 13 
(the statue of Augustus removed by Claudius, rov St] fi-^re 
€<f>opS.v avrov rovs <j>6vovs vofii^eodai n'^jre del KaraKaXv-Trreadai). 
For the Mosaic law, see Levit. xxi. 10-1 1 ; and for the primitive 
taboo on mourners, Sir J. G. Frazer in the Golden Bough. 

348 



BOOK I. Lxi.-Lxiti. 

nailed prominently on the tree-trunks. In the 
neighbouring groves stood the savage altars at which 
they had slaughtered the tribunes and chief cen- 
turions. Survivors of the disaster, who had escaped 
the battle or their chains, told how here the legates 
iell, there the eagles were taken, where the first 
wound was dealt upon Varus, and where he found 
death by the suicidal stroke of his own unhappy hand. 
They spoke of the tribunal from which AiTninius 
made his harangue, all the gibbets and torture-pits 
for the prisoners, and the arrogance with which he 
insulted the standards and eagles. 

LXII. And so, six years after the fatal field, a 
Roman army, present on the ground, buried the bones 
of the three legions ; and no man knew whether he 
consigned to earth the remains of a stranger or a 
kinsman, but all thought of all as friends and members 
of one family, and, with anger rising against the 
enemy, mourned at once and hated. 

At the erection of the funeral-mound the Caesar 
laid the first sod, paying a dear tribute to the 
departed, and associating himself with the grief of 
those around him. But Tiberius disapproved, possibly 
because he put an invidious construction on all acts 
of Germanicus, possibly because he held that the 
sight of the unburied dead must have given the army 
less alacrity for battle and more respect for the enemy, 
while a commander, invested with the augurate and 
administering the most venerable rites of religion, 
ought to have avoided all contact with a funeral 

^ ceremony .1 

1^ LXIII. Germanicus, however, followed Arminius 
as he fell back on the wilds, and at the earliest oppor- 
tunity ordered the cavalry to ride out and clear the 

349 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

equites campumque, quem hostis insederat, eripi 
iubet. Arminius colligi suos et propinquare silvis 
monitos vertit repente : mox signum prorumpendi 
dedit iis quos per saltus occultaverat. Tunc nova 
acie turbatus eques, missaeque subsidiariae cohortes 
et fugientium agmine impulsae auxerant conster- 
nationem; trudebanturque in paludem gnaram 
vincentibus, iniquam nesciis, ni Caesar productas 
legiones instruxisset : inde hostibus terror, fiducia 
militi ; et manibus acquis abscessum. Mox, reducto 
ad Amisiam exercitu, legiones classe, ut advexerat, 
reportat ; pars equitum litore Oceani petere Rhenuni 
iussa; Caecina, qui suum militem ducebat, moni- 
tus, quamquam notis itineribus regrederetur, pontes 
longos quam maturrime superare. Angustus is 
trames vastas inter paludes et quondam a L, Domi- 
tio aggeratus, cetera limosa, tenacia gravi caeno 
aut rivis incerta erant; circum silvae paulatim 
adclives, quas tiun Arminius inplevit, compendiis 
viarum et cito agmine onustum sarcinis armisque 
militem cum antevenisset. Caecinae dubitanti 
quonam modo ruptos vetustate pontes reponeret 

^ The statement is suspiciously inaccurate. There is not 
much weight in the argument that Caecina's four legions 
would naturally be included in exercitu ; but, of Germanicus' 
own force, half travels by land, and the opening of chap. 70 
seems to indicate that the subject has not been touched before. 
Doederlein's exercitu, (,Iiy legiones is only a palliative : 
Nipperdey excised legiones . . . reported as the note of a 
reader. 

' The inevitable conjectures as to the site are idle, since the 
point where Caecina separated from Germanicus is unknown 
and unknowable. 

350 



BOOK I. Lxiu. 

level ground in the occupation of the enemy. Ar- 
minius, who had directed his men to close up and 
retire on the woods, suddenly wheeled them round ; 
then gave the signal for his ambush in the glades to 
break cover. The change of tactics threw our horse 
into confusion. Reser\e cohorts were sent up ; but, 
broken by the impact of the fugitive columns, they 
had only increased the panic, and the whole mass was 
being pushed towards swampy ground, famiUar to 
the conquerors but fatal to strangers, when the Caesar 
came forward with the legions and drew them up in 
line of battle. This demonstration overawed the 
enemy and emboldened the troops, and they parted 
with the balance even. 

Shortly afterwards, the prince led his army back to 
the Ems, and -withdrew the legions as he had brought 
them, on shipboard : ^ a section of the cavalry was 
ordered to make for the Rhine along the coast of 
the Northern Ocean. Caecina, who led his own force, 
was returning by a well-known route, but was none 
the less warned to cross the Long Bridges as rapidly 
as possible.^ These were simply a narrow causeway, 
running through a wilderness of marshes and thro^wn 
up, years before, by Lucius Domitius ;^ the rest was 
a slough — foul, chnging mud intersected by a maze 
of ri\'ulets. Round about, the woods sloped gently 
from the plain; but now they were occupied by 
Arminius, whose forced march along the shorter roads 
had been too quick for the Roman soldier, weighted 
with his baggage and accoutrements. Caecina, none 
too certain how to relay the old, broken-do\vn bridges 
and at the same time hold off the enemy, decided to 

* L. Domitius Ahenobarbus, grandfather of the emperor 
Nero (06. 25 a.d.) : see the notice of him in IV. 44. 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

simulque propulsaret hostem, castra metari in loco 
placuit, ut opus et alii proelium inciperent. 

LXIV. Barbari perfringere stationes seque ^ inferre 
munitoribus nisi lacessunt, circumgrediuntur, occur- 
sant : miscetur operantium bellantiumque clamor. 
Et cuncta pariter Romanis adversa : locus uligine 
profunda ; idem ad gradum instabilis, procedentibus 
lubricus ; corpora gravia loricis ; neque librare ^ pila 
inter undas poterant. Contra Cheruscis sueta apud 
paludes proelia, procera membra, hastae ingentes 
ad vulnera facienda, quamvis procul, Nox ^ demum 
inclinantis iam* legiones adversae pugnae exemit. 
Germani, ob prospera indefessi, ne tum quidem 
sumpta quiete, quantum aquarum circum surgen- 
tibus iugis oritur vertere in subiecta, mersaque 
humo et obruto quod efFectum operis, duplicatus 
militi labor. Quadragesimum id stipendium Cae- 
cina parendi aut imperitandi habebat, secundarum 
ambiguarumque rerum sciens eoque interritus. Igitur, 
futura volvens, non aliud repperit quam ut hostem 
silvis coerceret, donee saucii quantumque gravioris 
agminis anteirent ; nam medio montium et paludiun 
porrigebatur planities, quae tenuem aciem pateretur. 
Deliguntur legiones quinta dextro lateri, unet- 
vicesima in laevum, primani ducendum ad agmen, 
vicesimanus adversum secuturos. 

^ seque Beroaldus : sequi. 

* librare Beroaldus : liberare. 

' nox Frobeniana (1519) : mox. 

* iam Freinsheim : tam. 

352 



BOOK I. Lxin.-LXiv. 

mark out a camp where he stood, so that part of the 
men could begin work while the others accepted 
battle. 

LXIV. Skirmishing, enveloping, charging, the 
barbarians struggled to break the hne of outposts 
and force their way to the working parties. Labourers 
and combatants mingled their cries. Eveiy thing 
alike was to the disadvantage of the Romans — the 
ground, deep in slime and ooze, too unstable for 
standing fast and too shppery for advancing — the 
weight of armour on their backs — their inability 
amid the water to balance the pilum for a thi-ow. 
The Cherusci, on the other hand, were habituated 
to marsh-fighting, long of hmb, and armed with huge 
lances to wound from a distance. In fact, the legions 
were already wavering when night at last released 
them from the unequal struggle. 

Success had made the Germans indefatigable. 
Even now they took no rest, but proceeded to divert 
all streams, springing from the surrounding hills, into 
the plain below, flooding the ground, submerging the 
little work accomplished, and doubling the task of 
the soldiery. Still, it was Caecina's fortieth year of 
active service as commander or commanded, and he 
knew success and danger too well to be easily per- 
turbed. On balancing the possibihties, he could see 
no other course than to hold the enemy to the woods 
until his wounded and the more heaWly laden part 
of the column passed on : for extended between 
mountain and morass was a level patch which would 
just allow an attenuated Hne of battle. The fifth 
legion was selected for the right flank, the twenty- 
first for the left; the first was to lead the van, the 
twentieth to stem the inevitable pursuit. 

353 

VOL, II. A A 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

LXV. Nox per diversa inquies, cum barbari 
festis epulis, laeto cantu aut truci sonore subiecta 
vallium ac resultantis saltus complerent, apud 
Romanos invalid! ignes, interruptae voces atque 
ipsi passim adiacerent vallo, oberrarent tentoriis, 
insomnes magis quam pervigiles. Ducemque terruit 
dira quies : nam Quintilium Varum sanguine obli- 
tum et paludibus emersum cernere et audire visus 
est velut vocantem, non tamen obsecutus et manum 
intendentis reppulisse. Coepta luce missae in latera 
legiones, metu an contumacia, locum deseruere, 
capto propere carapo umentia ultra. Neque tamen 
Arminius, quamquam libero incursu, statim prorupit ; 
sed ut haesere caeno fossisque impedimenta, turbati 
circum milites, incertus signorum ordo, utque tali 
in tempore sibi quisque properus et lentae adver- 
sum imperia aures, inrumpere Germanos iubet, 
clamitans : " En Varus eodemque ^ iterum fato vinc- 
tae legiones ! " Simul haec et cum delectis scindit 
agmen equisque maxime vulnera ingerit. Illi, san- 
guine suo et lubrico paludum lapsantes, excussis 
rectoribus, disicere obvios, proterere iacentis. Pluri- 
mus circa aquilas labor, quae neque ferri adversum 
ingruentia tela neque figi limosa humo poterant. 
Caecina, dum sustentat aciem, sufFosso equo delapsus, 

^ oodcinque Hitter : et eodemque. 

354 



BOOK I. Lx\: 

LXV. It was a night of unrest, though in con- 
trasted fashions. The barbarians, in high carousal, 
filled the low-lying valleys and echoing woods >nth 
chants of triiunph or fierce vociferations : among the 
Romans were languid fires, broken challenges, and 
groups of men stretched beside the parapet or stray- 
ing amid the tents, unasleep but something less than 
awake. The general's night was disturbed by a 
sinister and alarming dream : for he imagined that he 
saw Quintihus Varus risen, blood-bedraggled, from 
marsh, and heard him calling, though he refused 
.vj obey and pushed him back when he extended his 
hand. Day broke, and the legions sent to the wings, 
either through fear or wilfulness, abandoned their 
post, hurriedly occupying a level piece of ground 
beyond the morass. Arminius, however, though the 
way was clear for the attack, did not immediately 
deliver his onslaught. But when he saw the baggage- 
train caught in the mire and trenches ; the troops 
around it in confusion ; the order of the standards 
broken, and (as may be expected in a crisis) every 
man quick to obey his impulse and slow to hear the 
word of command, he ordered the Germans to break 
in. " Varus and the legions," he cried, " enchained 
once more in the old doom ! " And, >vith the word, 
he cut through the column at the head of a picked 
band, their blows being directed primarily at the 
horses. Slipping in their own blood and the marsh- 
i slime, the beasts threw their riders, scattered all they 
imet, and trampled the fallen underfoot. The eagles 
caused the greatest difficulty of all, as it was imposs- 
ible either to advance them against the storm of spears 
or to plant them in the water-logged soil. Caecina, 
while attempting to keep the front intact, fell with 

355 
aa2 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

circumveniebatur, ni prima legio sese opposuisset. 
luvit hostium aviditas, omissa caede praedam 
sectantium, enisaeque legiones vesperascente die 
in aperta et solida. Neque is miseriarum finis. 
Struendum vallum, petendus agger; amissa magna 
ex parte per quae egeritur ^ humus aut exciditur cae- 
spes; npn tentoria manipulis, non fomenta sauciis ; 
infectos caeno aut cruore cibos dividentes, funestas 
tenebras et tot hominum milibus unum lam reli- 
quum diem lamentabantur. 

LXVI. Forte equus, abruptis vinculis, vagus et 
clamore territus, quosdam occurrentium obturbavit. 
Tanta inde consternatio inrupisse Germanos cre- 
dentium, ut cuncti ruerent ad portas, quarum decu- 
mana maxime petebatur, aversa hosti et fugientibus 
tutior. Caecina, comperto vanam esse formidinem, 
crnn tamen neque auctoritate neque precibus, ne 
manu quidem obsistere aut retinere miHtem quiret, 
proiectus in limine portae, miseratione demum, quia 
per corpus legati eundum erat, clausit viam; simul 
tribuni et centuriones falsum pavorem esse docue- 
runt. 

LXVII. Tunc contractos in principia iussosque 
dicta cum silentio accipere temporis ac necessitatis 
monet. Vnam in armis salutem, sed ea consilio 

* egeritur Bhenanua : geritur. 



BOOK I. Lx^^-LxvII. 

his horse stabbed under him, and was being rapidly 
surrounded when the first legion interposed. A 
point in our favour was the rapacity of the enemy, 
who left the carnage to pursue the spoils ; and 
towards evening the legions struggled out on to open 
and solid ground. Nor was this the end of their 
miseries. A rampart had to be raised and material 
sought for the earthwork ; and most of the tools for 
excavating soil or cutting turf had been lost. There 
were no tents for the companies, no dressings for the 
wounded, and as they divided their rations, foul ■s^itli 
dirt or blood, they bewailed the deathhke gloom and 
that for so many thousands of men but a single day 
now remained. 

LXVI. As chance would have it, a stray horse 
hich had broken its tethering and taken fright at 
the shouting, threw into confusion a number of men 
vvho ran to stop it. So great was the consequent 
panic (men believed the Germans had broken in) 
that there was a general rush to the gates, the 
principal objective being the decuman, which faced 
away from the enemy and opened the better pros- 
pects of escape. Caecina, who had satisfied himself 
that the fear was groundless, but found command, 
entreaty, and even physical force, alike powerless 
to arrest or detain the men, threw himself flat in 
the gateway; and pity in the last resort barred a 
road which led over the general's body. At the 
same time, the tribunes and centurions explained 
that it was a false alarm. 

LX^'II. He now collected the troops in front of 
his quarters, and, first ordering them to hsten in 
silence, warned them of the crisis and its urgency : — 
" Their one safety lay in the sword ; but their resort 

357 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

temperanda manendumque intra vallum, donee 
expugnandi hostes spe propius succederent; mox 
undique erumpendum: ilia eruptione ad Rhenum 
perveniri. Quod si fugerent, pluris silvas, profundas 
magis paludes, saevitiam hostium superesse; at 
victoribus decus, gloriam. Quae domi cara, quae 
in castris honesta, memorat; reticuit de adversis. 
Equos dehinc, orsus a suis, legatorum tribunorum- 
que nulla ambitione fortissimo cuique bellatori 
tradit, ut hi, mox pedes in hostem invaderent. 

LXVIII. Haud minus inquies Germanus spe, 
cupidine et diversis ducum sententiis agebat, Ar- 
minio sinerent egredi egressosque rursum per umida 
et inpedita circumvenirent suadente, atrociora In- 
guiomero et laeta barbaris, ut vallum ai*mis ambi- 
rent : promptam expugnationem, plures captivos, 
incorruptam praedam fore. Igitur orta die proruunt 
fossas, iniciunt cratis, summa valli prensant, raro 
super milite et quasi ob metum defixo. Postquam 
haesere munimentis, datur cohortibus signum cor- 
nuaque ac tubae concinuere. Exim clamore et im- 
petu tergis Gei'manorum circumfunduntur, ex- 
probrantes non hie silvas nee paludes, sed aequis 
loeis aequos deos. Hosti, facile excidium et paucos 
ac semermos cogitanti, sonus tubarum, fulgor ar- 

358 



BOOK I. Lx^•II.-LxvIII. 

to it should be tempered with discretion, and they 

must remain within the rampart till the enemy 
approached in the hope of carrying it by assault. 
Then, a sally from all sides — and so to the Rhine ! 
If they fled, they might expect more forests, deeper 
swamps, and a savage enemy : win the day, and 
glory and honour were assured." He reminded 
them of all they loved at home, all the honour they 
had gained in camp : of disaster, not a word. Then, 
with complete impartiality, he distributed the horses 
of the commanding officei*s and tribimes — he had 
begun with his ovm — to men of conspicuous gallantry ; 
the recipients to charge first, while the infantry 
followed. 

LXVIII. Hope, cupidity, and the divided counsels 
of the chieftains kept the Germans in equal agita- 
tion. Amiinius proposed to allow the Romans to 
march out, and, when they had done so, to entrap 
them once more in wet and broken country ; Inguio- 
merus advocated the more drastic measures dear to 
the barbarian: — "Let them encircle the rampart 
in arms. Storming would be easy, captives more 
plentiful, the booty intact! " So, at break of day, 
they began demolishing the fosses, threw in hurdles, 
and struggled to grasp the top of the rampart ; on 
which were ranged a handful of soldiers apparently 
petrified with terror. But as they swarmed up the 
fortifications, the signal sounded to the cohorts, 
and comets and trumpets sang to arms. Then, 
with a shout and a rush, the Romans poured down 
on the German rear. " Here were no trees," 
they jeered, " no swamps, but a fair field and an 
impartial Heaven." Upon the enemy, whose thoughts 
were of a quick despatch and a few half-armed 

359 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

moi'um, quanto inopina, tanto maiora ofFunduntur,^ 
cadebantque, ut rebus secundis avidi, ita adversis 
incauti. Arminius integer, Inguiomerus ^ post grave 
vulnus pugnam deseruere ; vulgus trucidatum est, 
donee ira et dies permansit. Nocte demum rever- 
sae legiones, quamvis plus vulnerum, eadem cibo- 
rum egestas fatigaret, vim, sanitatem, copias, 
cuncta in victoria habuere. 

LXIX, Pervaserat interim circumventi exercitus 
fama et infesto Germanorum agmine Gallias peti, 
ac ni Agrippina inpositura Rheno pontem solvi 
prohibuisset, erant qui id flagitium formidine aude- 
rent. Sed femina ingens animi munia ducis per eos 
dies induit, militibusque, ut quis inops aut saucius, 
vestem et fomenta dilargita est. Tradit C. Plinius, 
Germanicorum bellorum scriptor, stetisse apud 
principium pontis ^ laudes et grates reversis legionibus 
habentem. Id Tiberii animum altius penetravit: 
non enim simplicis eas curas, nee adversus ex- 
ternos studia militum * quaeri. Nihil relictum im- 
peratoribus, ubi femina manipulos intervisat, signa 
adeat, largitionem temptet, tamquam parum am- 
bitiose filium ducis gregali habitu circumferat Cae- 
saremque Caligulam appellari velit. Potiorem iam 

^ offundnntur Rhenanus : offenduntur. 
2 Inguiomerus Beroaldus : Ingoiomerus. 
' pontis milgo (ponti Beroaldus) : poti. 
* studia miUtum Doederlein : militum. 

^ At Vetera (Xanten). 

2 The elder Pliny— Gaius Plinius Secundus (23-79 a.d.). 
His account of the German wars (inchoavit cum in Gerraania 
militaret, says his nephew, Epp. III. 5), now lost, though once 
believed to have been seen by Conrad Gesner at Augsburg, 
comprised twenty books and was in all probability a main 
source for the Germania of Tacitus. 

360 



BOOK I. Lxviii.-Lxix. 

defenders, the blare of trumpets and the flash of 
weapons burst \vith an effect proportioned to the 
surprise, and they fell — as improvident in failure as 
they had been headstrong in success. Arminius and 
Inguiomerus abandoned the fray, the former unhurt, 
the latter after a serious wound ; the rabble was 
slaughtered till passion and the daylight waned. 
It was dusk when the legions returned, weary 
enough — for wounds were in greater plenty than 
ever, and provisions in equal scarcity — but finding in 
victory strength, health, supplies, everything. 

LXIX. In the meantime a rumour had spread that 
the army had been trapped and the German columns 
were on the march for Gaul ; and had not Agrippina 
prevented the demolition of the Rhine bridge,^ there 
were those who in their panic would have braved 
that infamy. But it was a great-hearted woman 
who assumed the duties of a general throughout 
those days ; who, if a soldier was in need, clothed 
him, and, if he was wounded, gave him dressings, ■s 
Pliny, the historian of the German Wars,^ asserts K 
that she stood at the head of the bridge, offering ■ 
her praises and her thanks to the returning legions. 
The action sank deep into the soul of Tiberius. 
" There was something behind this officiousness ; 
nor was it the foreigner against v.hom her courtship > 
of the army was directed. Commanding officers had 
a sinecure nowadays, when a woman \'isited the 
maniples, approached the standards and took in 
hand to bestow largesses — as though it were not -T 
enough to curry favour by parading the general's son / 
in the habit of a common soldier, with the request •' 
that he should be called Caesar Caligula ! ^ Already 

» See p. 314, n. 2. 

361 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

apud exercitus Agrippinam quam legates, quam 
duces; conpressam a muliere seditionem, cui nomen 
principis obsistere non quiverit. Accendebat haec 
onerabatque Seianus, peritia morum Tiberii odia 
in longum iaciens, quae reconderet auctaque pro- 
meret. 

LXX. At Germanicus legionum, quas navibus 
vexerat, secundam et quartam decimam itinere 
terrestri P. "N'^itellio ducendas tradit, quo levior 
classis vadoso mari innaret vel reciproco sideret. 
Vitellius primum iter sicca humo aut modice adla- 
bente aestu quietum habuit ; mox inpulsu aquilonis, 
simul sidere aequinoctii, quo maxime tumescit 
Oceanus, rapi agique agmen. Et opplebantur ter- 
rae : eadem freto, litori, campis facies, neque dis- 
cerni poterant incerta ab solidis, brevia a profundis. 
Sternuntur fluctibus, hauriuntur gurgitibus; iu- 
menta, sarcinae, corpora exanima interfluunt, oc- 
cursant. Permiscentur inter se manipuli, modo 
pectore, modo ore tenus extantes, aliquando sub- 
tracto solo disiecti aut obruti. Non vox et mutui 
hortatus iuvabant adversante unda ; nihil strenuus 
ab ignavo, sapiens ab inprudenti,^ consilia a caf^u 
difFerre : cuncta pari violentia involvebantur. Tan- 
1 ab imprudenti Lipsivs : aprudenti. 

1 See above, chap. 63, with the note. 

^ Legate of Germanicus and uncle of the future emperor. 
For other references to liim see II. 6, 74; for his part in the 
trial of Piso, III. 10 sqq. ; for his death, V. 8. 

362 



BOOK I. Lxix.-Lxx. 

Agrippina counted for more with the armies than 
any general or generalissimo, and a woman had 
suppressed a mutiny which the imperial name had 
failed to check." Sejanus inflamed and exacerbated 
his jealousies ; and, with his expei-t knowledge of 
the character of Tiberius, kept sowing the seed of 
future hatreds — grievances for the emperor to store 
away and produce some day with increase. 

LXX. Meanwhile Germanicus,^ in order to lighten 
the fleet in case it should have to navigate shallow 
water or should find itself grounded at ebb-tide, 
transferred two of the legions he had brought on 
shipboard — the second and fourteenth — to Pubhus 
Vitellius,2 who was to march them back by the land 
route. At first Vitellius had an uneventful journey 
over dry ground or through gently running tides. 
Before long, however, a northerly gale, aggravated 
by the equinox, during which the Ocean is always 
at its wildest, began to play havoc with the column. 
Then the whole land became a flood : sea, shore, and 
plain wore a single aspect ; and it was impossible to 
distinguish solid from fluid, deep from shallow. Men 
were dashed over by the billows or drawn under 
by the eddies : packhorses — their loads — hfeless 
bodies — came floating through, or colUding with, the 
ranks. The companies became intermingled, the 
men standing one moment up to the breast, another 
up to the chin, in water; then the ground would 
fail beneath them, and they were scattered or sub- 
merged. Words and mutual encouragement availed 
nothing against the deluge : there was no difference 
betM-een bravery and cowardice, between wisdom and 
folly, circumspection or chance ; everything was 
involved in the same fury of the elements. At last 

363 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

dem Vitellius, in editiora enisus, eodem agmen sub- 
duxit. Pernoctavere sine utensilibus, sine igni, 
magna pars nudo aut mulcato corpoi'c, haud minus 
miserabiles quam quos hostis circumsidebat : ^ quippe 
illic etiam honestae mortis usus, his inglorium 
exitium. Lux reddidit terram, penetratumque ad 
amnem,2 quo Caesar classe contenderat. Inpositae 
dein legiones, vagante fama submersas; nee fides 
salutis, antequam Caesarem exercitumque reducem 
\idere. 

LXXI. lam Stertinius, ad accipiendum in dedi- 
tionem Segimerum, fratrem Segestis, praemissus 
ipsum et filium eius in civitatem Vbiorum perdu- 
xerat. Data utrique venia, facile Segimero, cunc- 
tantius filio, quia Quintilii Vari corpus inlusisse 
dicebatur. Ceterum ad supplenda exercitus damna 
certavere Galliae, Hispaniae, Italia, quod cuique 
promptum, arma, equos, aurum offerentes. Quorum 
laudato studio Germanicus, armis modo et equis 
ad bellum sumptis, propria pecunia militem iuvit. 
Vtque cladis memoriam etiam comitate leniret, 
circumire saucios, facta singulorum extoUere, vul- 
nera intuens, alium spe, alium gloria, cunctos adlo- 
quio et cura sibique et proelio firmabat. 

^ circumsidebat Urlichs : circumsidet. 
' amnem Mercer : amnom Visurgin. 

* The force under Caecina. 

' As they were returning from the Ems to the Rhine, the 
Visurgin (Weser) of the Mediceus is an absurdity. If Vitellius 

364 



BOOK I. Lxx.-Lxxi. 

Vitellius struggled out on to rising ground and led 
his columns after him. They spent the night with- 
out necessaries, without fire, many of them naked 
or badly maimed, — every whit as wretched as their 
comrades in the invested camp.^ For those at least 
had the resource of an honourable death ; here was 
destruction without the glory. Day brought back 
the land, and they pushed on to the river ^ to which 
Germanicus had preceded them with the fleet. The 
legions then embarked. Cun*ent report proclaimed 
them dro^vned, and the doubts of their safety were 
only dispelled by the sight of the Caesar returning 
with his army. 

LXXI. By this time, Stertinius, who had been sent 
forward to receive the submission of Segestes' brother 
Segimerus, had brought him and his son through to 
the Ubian capital. Both were pardoned ; Segimerus 
without any demur, his son with more hesitation, as 
he was said to have insulted the corpse of Quintilius 
Varus. For the rest, the two Gauls, the Spains, and 
Italy vied in making good the losses of the army 
with offers of weapons, horses, or gold, according to 
the special capacity of each province. Germanicus 
applauded their zeal, but took only arms and horses 
for the campaign : the soldiers he assisted from his 
private means. To soften by kindness also their 
recollections of the late havoc, he made a round of 
the wounded, praised their individual exploits ; and, 
while inspecting their injuries, confirmed their 
enthusiasm for himself and battle, here by the 
stimulus of hope, there by that of glory, and every- 
where by his consolations and solicitude. 

took only two dajrs and a night for his march, the river in 
question was presumably the Hunse. 

365 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

LXXII. Decreta eo anno triumphalia insignia 
A. Caecinae, L. Apronio, G. Silio ob res cum Germa- 
nico gestas. Nomen patris patriae Tiberius, a populo 
saepius ingestum repudiavit ; neque in acta sua 
iurari, quamquam censente senatu, permisit, cuncta 
mortalium incerta, quantoque plus adeptus foret, 
tanto se magis in lubrico dictitans.^ Non tamen 
ideo faciebat fidem civilis animi ; nam legem maies- 
tatis reduxerat, cui nomen apud veteres idem, sed 
alia in indicium veniebant, si quis proditione exer- 
citum aut ^ plebem seditionibus, denique male gesta 
re publica maiestatem populi Romani minuisset : 
facta arguebantur, dicta inpune erant. Primus 
Augustus cognitionem de famosis libellis specie 
legis eius tractavit, commotus Cassii Severi libidine, 
qua vires feminasque inlusti*is procacibus scriptis 
diflFamaverat ; mox Tiberius, consultante Pompeio 
Macro praetore an iudicia maiestatis redderentur, 

^ dictitans Muretus : dictan. 
2 aut Beroaldus : ut. 

^ The triumph proper (iustus triumpkus) has now, as a logical 
consequence of the imperial system, become the exclusive 
privilege of the sovereign and his co-regents, the only holders 
of true imperimn. The iriumpJuilia insignia {ornamenta) 
carried with them the prestige and external distinctions of the 
triumph, which was itself unheld. 

^ Conferred upon Augustus by the senate in 2 B.C. Tiberius' 
refusal was never withdrawn {II. 89, D. Cass. LVIII. 12), nor 
does the title figure upon his coins. 

^ The annual oath, taken on the first of January by the 
magistrates and senate to treat as valid all acta of the emperor 
and, save in the case of damnatio memoriae, his predecessors, 
including the dictator Julius. 

* Civilis is apt to necessitate a loose paraphrase. Tiberius 
wishes to convey the impression that he is a kind of " empereur 
citoyen," a civis inter cives : the pose is discredited by the 

366 



BOOK I. L.\xii. 

LXXII. In this year triumphal distinctions^ were 
voted to Aulus Caecina, Lucius Apronius, and Caius 
SiUus, in return for their services with Germanicus. 
Tiberius rejected the title Father of his Country,^ 
though it had been repeatedly pressed upon him by 
the people : and, disregarding a vote of the senate, 
refused to allow the taking of an oath to obey his 
enactments.* " All human affairs," so ran his com- 
ment, " were uncertain, and the higher he climbed 
the more slippery his position." Yet even so he 
failed to inspire the behef that his sentiments were 
not monarchical.* For he had resuscitated the Lex 
Majestatis. a statute which in the old jurisprudence 
had carried the same name but covered a different 
type of offence — betrayal of an army ; seditious 
incitement of the populace ; any act, in short, of 
official maladministration diminishing the " majesty 
of the Roman nation." Deeds were challenged, 
words went immune. The first to take cognizance 
of written libel under the statute was Augustus ; 
who was provoked to the step by the eflfrontery with 
which Cassius Severus ^ had blackened the characters 
of men and women of repute in his scandalous 
effusions : then Tiberius, to an inquiry put by the 
praetor, Pompeius Macer, whether process should 
still be granted on this statute, replied that " the 

fact that, if the lex tnaiesiaiis is to apply to the princeps, it can 
only be becaxise he has ceased to be a citizen and has become 
the State. 

^ The famous orator, quern primum adfirmant flexiase ab 
ilia veiere atque derecta dicendi via (Dial. 19); baiiished by 
Augustus to Crete in 8 a.d. (Jerome) or 12 a.d. (c/. D. Cass. 
LVI. 27) ; removed by Tiberius to Seriphus and his property 
confiscated in 24 a.d. (below, IV. 21); died in the twenty-fifth 
year of his exile. 

367 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

exercendas leges esse respondit. Hunc quoque aspe- 
ravere carmina incertis auctoribus vulgata in sae- 
vitiam superbiamque eius et discordem cum matre 
aiiimum. 

LXXIII. Haud pigebit referre in Falanio et 
Rubvio, modicis equitibus Romanis, praetemptata 
crimina, ut quibus initiis, quanta Tiberii arte gra- 
vissimuni exitium inrepserit, dein repressum sit, 
postremo arserit cunetaque corripuerit, noscatur. 
Falanio obiciebat accusator, quod inter cultores 
Augusti, qui per omnis domos in modum collegio- 
rum habebantur, Cassium quendam, mimum corporc 
infamem, adscivisset, quodque venditis hortis sta- 
tuam Augusti simul mancipasset. Rubrio crimini 
dabatur violatum periurio numen ^ Augusti. Quae 
ubi Tiberio notuere, scripsit consulibus non ideo 
decretum patri suo caelum, ut in perniciem civium 
is honor verteretur. Cassium histrionem solitum 
inter alios eiusdem artis interesse ludis, quos mater 
sua in memoriam Augusti sacrasset ; nee contra 
religiones fieri, quod effigies eius, ut alia numinum 
simulacra, venditionibus hortorum et domuum acce- 
dant. lus iurandum perinde aestimandiun quam si 
lovem fefellisset : deorum iniurias dis curae. 

LXXIV. Nee multo post Cranium Marcellum, 
praetorem Bithyniae, quaestor ipsius Caepio Cris- 
^ numen Freinsheim : nomen. 

* It is not clear whether the close of the sentence refers only 
to the principate of Tiberius or whether the " conflagration " 
is the reign of terror occasioned by the merciless abuse of the 
lex maiesfatis in the closing years of Domitian. 

' The scenic ludi Palatini (see D. Cass. LVI. 46), which 
witnessed the assassination of Caligula. 

' Tiberius repeats a maxim of Roman law i—iurisiurandi 
contempla religio salis chum ultorem habet {God. IV. 1, 2). 
368 



BOOK I. Lxxii.-Lxxiv. 

law ought to take its course." He, too, had been 
ruffled by verses of unkno'W'n authorship satirizing 
his cruelty, his arrogance, and his estrangement from 
his mother. 

LXXIII. It will not be unremunerative to recall 
the first, tentative charges brought in the case of 
Falanius and Rubrius, two Roman knights of modest 
position ; if only to show from what beginnings, 
thanks to the art of Tiberius, the accursed thing 
crept in, and, after a temporary check, at last broke 
out, an all-devouring conflagration.^ Against Falanius 
the accuser alleged that he had admitted a certain 
Cassius, mime and catamite, among the " votaries 
of Augustus," who were maintained, after the 
fashion of fraternities, in all the great houses : also, 
that when selhng his gardens, he had parted with a 
statue of Augustus as well. To Rubrius the crime 
imputed was \aolation of the deity of Augustus by 
perjury. When the facts came to the knowledge of 
Tiberius, he wrote to the consuls that a place in 
heaven had not been decreed to his father in order 
that the honour might be tiu-ned to the destruction 
of his countrymen. Cassius, the actor, with others 
of his trade, had regularly taken part in the games 
which his ovm mother had consecrated to the memory 
of Augustus 2 ; nor was it an act of sacrilege, if the 
effigies of that sovereign, like other images of other 
gods, went with the property, whenever a house or 
garden was sold. As to the perjury, it was on the 
same footing as if the defendant had taken the name 
of Jupiter in vain: the gods must look to their 
o^\•n wrongs.^ 

LXXIV. Before long, Granius Marcellus, praetor 
of Bithynia, found himself accused of treason by his 

369 

VOL. II. B B 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

pinus maiestatis postulavit, subscribente Romano 
Hispone : qui formam vitae iniit, quam postea 
celebrem miseriae temporum et audacia hominum 
fecerunt. Nam egens, ignotus, inquies, dum occultis 
libellis saevitiae principis adrepit, mox clarissimo 
cuique periculum facessit, potentiam apud unum, 
odium apud omnis adeptus, dedit exemplum, quod 
secuti ex pauperibus divites, ex contemptis metuendi 
perniciem aliis, ac postremmn sibi invenere. Sed 
Marcellum insimulabat sinistros de Tiberio sermones 
habuisse, inevitabile crimen, cum ex moribus prin- 
cipis foedissiraa quaeque deligeret accusator obiec- 
taretque reo. Nam quia vera erant, etiam dicta 
credebantur, Addidit Hispo statuam Marcelli altius 
quam Caesarum sitam et alia in statua amputato 
capite Augusti effigiem Tiberii inditam. Ad quod 
exarsit adeo, ut rupta taciturnitate proclamaret 
se quoque in ea causa laturmn sententiam palam 
et iuratum, quo ceteris eadem necessitas fieret. 
Manebant etiam tum vestigia morientis libertatis. 
Igitur Cn. Piso " Quo " inquit " loco censebis, Caesar ? 
si primus, habebo quod sequar ; si post omnis, vereor 
ne inprudens dissentiam." Permotus his, quantoque 
incautius efFerverat, paenitentia patiens, tulit absolvi 
reum criminibus maiestatis ; de pecuniis repetundis 
ad reciperatores itum est. 



^ As Rome lacked a public prosecutor, the law had to be set 
in motion by individuals. Hence the rise of the hated class of 
professional informers, " delatores," genus homimim publico 
exitio repertum (IV. 30) ; who speculated on the rewards offered 
by the statutes in the event of a successful prosecution. 



BOOK I. Lxxiv. 

uwn quaestor, Caepio Crispinus, with Hispo Romanus 
to back the charge. Caepio was the pioneer in a 
walk of hfe which the miseries of the age and the 
effronteries of men soon rendered popular.^ Indigent, 
unknown, unresting, first creeping, with his private 
reports, into the confidence of his pitiless sovereign, 
then a terror to the noblest, he acquired the favour 
of one man, the hatred of all, and set an example, 
the followers of which passed from beggary to wealth, 
from being despised to being feared, and crowned 
at last the ruin of others by their o-v^n. He alleged 
that Marcellus had retailed sinister anecdotes about 
Tiberius : a damning indictment, when the accuser 
selected the foulest qualities of the imperial char- 
acter, and attributed their mention to the accused. 
For, as the facts were true, they were also beUeved 
to have been related! Hispo added that Marcellus' 
own statue was placed on higher ground than those 
of the Caesars, while in another the head of Augustus 
had been struck off to make room for the portrait 
of Tiberius. This incensed the emperor to such a 
degree that, breaking through his taciturnity, he 
exclaimed that, in this case, he too would vote, 
openly and under oath, — the object being to impose 
a similar obligation on the rest. There remained 
even yet some traces of dying Hberty. Accordingly 
Gnaeus Piso inquired: "In what order will you 
register your opinion, Caesar ? If first, I shall have 
something to follow : if last of all, I fear I may 
inadvertently find myself on the other side." The 
words went home ; and with a meekness that showed 
how profoundly he rued his unwary outburst, he 
voted for the acquittal of the defendant on the 
counts of treason. The charge of peculation went 
before the appropriate commission. 

371 
u B 2 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

LXXV. Nee patrum cognitionibus satiatus iudi- 
ciis adsidebat in cornu tribunalis, ne praetor em curuli 
depelleret ; multaque eo coram adversus ambitum et 
potentium preces constituta. Sed dum veritati 
consulitur, libertas corrumpebatur. Inter quae 
Pius Aurelius senator, questus mole publicae viae 
ductuque aquarum labefactas aedis suas, auxilium 
patrum invocabat. Resistentibus aerarii praeto- 
ribus subvenit Caesar pretiumque aedium Aurelio 
tribuit, erogandae per honesta pecuniae cupiens : 
quam virtutem diu retinuit, cmn ceteras exueret. 
Propertio Celeri praetorio, veniam ordinis ob pau- 
pertatem petenti, decies sestertium largitus est, 
satis conperto paternas ei angustias esse. Temp- 
tantis eadem alios probare causam ^ senatui iussit, 
cupidine severitatis in iis etiam quae rite faceret 
acerbus. Vnde ceteri silentium et paupertatem 
confessioni et beneficio praeposuere. 

LXXVI. Eodem anno continuis imbribus auctus 
Tiberis plana urbis stagnaverat; relabentem secuta 
est aedificiorum et hominum strages. Igitur censuit 
Asinius Gallus ut libri Sibyllini adirentur. Renuit 
Tiberius, perinde divina humanaque obtegens; sed 
remedium coercendi fluminis Ateio Capitoni et L. 
Arruntio mandatum. Achaiam ac Macedonian! 

1 causam Berodldus (causas SirJcer) : causa. 

1 Roughly £10,000 — the property qualification fixed by 
Augustus as the minimum necessary for membership of the 
senate. Similar grants are mentioned with fair frequency 
{e.g. 11. 37). 

* He was sceptical, in any case, about the Sibylline canon 
(see VI. 12 and D. Cass. LVII. 18). The collection, transferred 
by Augustus in 12 B.C. from the Capitol to the temple df the 
Palatine Apollo, could only be consulted by the quindecimviri 
with the authorization of the senate. 
372 



BOOK I. LXXV.-LXXVI. 

LXXV. Not satiated with senatorial cases, he took 
to sitting in the common courts, — at a comer of the 
tribunal, so as not to dispossess the praetor of his 
chair. As a result of his presence, many verdicts 
were recorded in defiance of intrigue and of the 
sohcitations of the great. Still, while equity gained, 
Uberty suffered. — Among these cases, Aurehus Pius, 
a member of the senate, complained that by the 
construction of a public road and aqueduct his house 
had been left insecure ; and he asked compensation 
from the Fathers. As the treasury officials were 
obdurate, Tiberiiis came to the rescue, and paid him 
the value of his mansion: for, given a good cause, 
he was ready and eager to spend — a virtue which he 
long retained, even when he was denuding himself 
of every other. When Propertius Celer, the ex- 
praetor, applied to be excused from his senatorial 
rank on the score of poverty, he satisfied himself 
that his patrimony was in fact embarrassed, and 
made him a gift of one million sesterces.^ Others 
who tried a similar experiment were ordered to 
make out a case before the senate : for in his passion 
for austerity, even where he acted justly, he con- 
trived to be harsh. The rest, therefore, preferred 
silence and poverty to confession and charity. 

LXXVI. In the same year, the Tiber, rising under 
the incessant rains, had flooded the lower levels of 
the city, and its subsidence was attended by much 
destruction of buildings and life. Accordingly, 
Asinius Gallus moved for a reference to the SibylHne 
Books. Tiberius objected, preferring secrecy as in 
earth so in heaven : ^ still, the task of coercing the 
stream was entrusted to Ateius Capito and Lucius 
Arruntius. Since Achaia and Macedonia protested 

373 



THK ANNALS OF TACITUS 

onera deprecantis levari in praesens proconsulari 
imperio tradique Caesari placuit. Edendis gladiato- 
ribus, quos Germanici fratris ac suo nomine obtu- 
lerat, Drusus praesedit, quamquam vili sanguine 
nimis gaudens ; quod in vulgus formidolosum et pater 
arguisse dicebatur. Cur abstinuerit spectaculo ipse, 
varie trahebant : alii taedio coetus, quidam tristitia 
ingenii et metu conparationis, quia Augustus comi- 
ter interfuisset. Non crediderim ad ostentandam 
saevitiam movendasque populi ofFensiones conces- 
sam filio materiem, quamquam id quoque ^ dictum 
est. 

LXXVII. At theatri licentia, proximo priore 
anno coepta, gravius turn erupit, occisis non modo 
e plebe, sed ^ militibus et centurione, vulnerato tri- 
buno praetoriae cohortis, dum probra in magistratus 
et dissensionem vulgi prohibent. Actum de ea sedi- 
tione apud patres. dicebanturque sententiae, ut 
praetoribus ius virgarum in histriones esset. Intcv- 
cessit Haterius Agrippa, ti'ibunus plebei. increpi- 
tusque est Asinii Galli ovatione, silente Tiberio, qui 
ea simulacra libertatis senalui praebebat. Valuit 

^ quoque Lipsius : qixod. " sed wnrg. : et. 



^ In 27 B.C. Augustus introduced the classification of the 
provinces as public and imperial : the former still administered 
by ex-consuls and ex-praetors chosen by lot under supervision 
of the senate, the latter, by lefjati appointed by and responsible 
to the sovereign. Achaia (Greece proper with Thessaly and 
Epirus) was then separated from Macedonia and converted into 
a senatorial province : it now, in 15 a.d., became imperial, and 
so remained for twenty-nine years. The financial relief conse- 
quent on the change would be due in part to the fact that the 
expense of a separate staff was saved by placing the province 

374 



BOOK I. Lxv^i.-Lxxvii. 

against the heavy taxation, it was decided to relieve 
them of their proconsular government for the time 
being and transfer them to the emperor.^ A show 
of gladiators, given in the name of his brother Ger- 
manicus, was presided over by Drusus, who took an 
extravagant pleasure in the shedding of blood 
however vile — a trait so alarming to the populace 
that it was said to have been censured by his father. 
Tiberius' o\\"n absence from the exhibition was vari- 
ously explained. Some ascribed it to his impatience 
of a crowd ; others, to his native morosity and his 
dread of comparisons : for Augustus had been a 
good-humoured spectator. I should be slow to 
believe that he deliberately furnished his son with 
an occasion for exposing his brutaUty and arousing 
the disgust of the nation : yet even this was sug- 
gested. 

LXXVII. The disorderliness of the stage, which 
had become apparent the year before,^ now broke 
out on a more serious scale. Apart from casualties 
among the populace, several soldiers and a centurion 
were killed, and an officer of the Praetorian Guards 
wounded, in the attempt to repress the insults 
levelled at the magistracy and the dissension of 
the crowd. The riot was discussed in the senate, 
and proposals were mooted that the praetors should 
be empowered to use the lash on actors. Haterius 
Agrippa, a tribune of the people, interposed his veto, 
and was attacked in a speech by Asinius Gallus, 
Tiberius said nothing : these were the phantoms of 
liberty which he permitted to the senate. Still the 

under the governor of Moesia, but in the main, no doubt, to a 
more efficient administration. 
* See above, chap. .54. 

375 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

tamen intercessio, quia divus Augustus immunis 
verberum histriones quondam responderat, neque 
fas Tiberio infringere dicta eius. De modo lucaris 
et adversus lasciviam fautorum multa decernuntur; 
ex quis maxime insignia, ne domos pantomimorum 
senator introiret, ne egredientis in publicum equites 
Romani cingerent aut alibi quam in theatro sec- 
tarentur,^ et spectantium immodestiam exilio ^ mul- 
tandi potestas praetoribus fieret. 

LXXVIII. Templum ut in colonia Tarraconensi ^ 
strueretur Augusto petentibus Hispanis permissum, 
datumque in omnis provincias exemplum, Cen- 
tesimam rerum venalium, post bella civilia institu- 
tam, deprecante populo, edixit Tiberius militare 
aerarium eo subsidio niti ; simul imparem oneri 
rem publicam, nisi vicesimo militiae anno veterani 
dimitterentur. Ita proximae seditionis male con- 
sulta, quibus sedecim stipendiorum finem expresse- 
rant, abolita in posterum. 

LXXIX. Actum deinde in senatu ab Arruntio 
et Ateio, an ob moderandas Tiberis exundationes 
verterentur flumina et lacus, per quos augescit ; 
auditaeque mxmicipiorum et coloniarum legationes, 

^ fsectarentur Woelfflin : spectarentur. 

^ exilio Beroaldus : exitio. 

8 Tarraconensi Beroaldus : terra conensi. 



^ The chief to\vn of north-eastern Spain {Hispania Tarra- 
conensis) — now Tarragona. 

^ Instituted and endowed by Augustus in 6 A.D., with the 
primary object of providing pensions and gratuities to time- 
expired men. 

^ But not wholly so; for, apart from occasional sources of 
revenue, the proceeds of a five per cent, succession duty 



BOOK I. LXXVII.-LXXIX. 

veto held good : for the deified Augustus had once 
remarked, in answer to a question, that players were 
immune from the scourge ; and it would be blas- 
phemy in Tiberius to contravene his words. Measures 
in plenty were framed to limit the expenditure on 
entertainments and to curb the extravagance of the 
partisans. The most striking were : that no senator 
was to enter the houses of the pantomimes ; that, if 
they came out into pubbc, Roman knights were not 
to gather round, nor were their performances to be 
followed except in the theatre ; while the praetors 
were to be authorized to punish by exile any disorder 
among the spectators. — 

LXXVIII. Permission to build a temple to Augus- 
tus in the colony of Tarraco ^ was granted to the 
Spaniards, and a precedent set for all the provinces. 
A popular protest against the one per cent, duty 
on auctioned goods (which had been imposed after 
the Civil Wars) brought from Tiberius a declar- 
ation that " the military exchequer ^ was dependent 
on that resource ; ^ nnoreover, the commonwealth 
was not equal to the burden, unless the veterans 
were discharged only at the end of twenty years' 
ser\-ice." Thus the misconceived reforms of the , 
late mutiny, in virtue of which the legionaries had ! 
extorted a maximum term of sixteen years, were 
cancelled for the future. 

LXXIX. Next, a discussion was opened in the 
senate by Arruntius and Ateius, whether the inva- 
sions of the Tiber should be checked by altering the 
course of the rivers and lakes swelling its volume. 
Deputations from the municipalities and colonies 

esima hereditatum) had also been ear-marked by Augustus 
the new treasury. 

377 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

orantibus Florentinis ne Clanis solito alveo demotus 
in amnem Arniun transfeiTetur idque ipsis perni- 
ciem adferret. Congruentia his Interamnates ^ disse- 
ruere : pessum ituros fecundissimos Italiae campos, 
si amnis Nar (id enini parabatur) in rivos diductus ^ 
superstagnavisset. Nee Reatini silebant, Velinum 
lacum, qua in Narem efFunditur, obstrui recusantes, 
quippe in adiacentia erupturum ; optume rebus 
movtalium consuluisse naturam, quae sua ora flu- 
minibus, suos cursus, utque originem, ita finis dederit ; 
spectandas etiam religiones niaiorum,^ qui sacra et 
lucos et aras patriis amnibus dicaverint ; quin ipsum 
Tiberim nolle prorsus accolis fluviis orbatum minore 
gloria fluere. Seu preces coloniarum, seu difficultas 
operum, sive superstitio valuit, ut in sententiam Piso- 
nis * concederetur,^ qui nil mutandum censuerat. 

I/XXX, Prorogatur Poppaeo Sabino provinoia 
Moesia, additis Achaia ac Macedonia. Id quoque 
morum Tiberii fuit, continuare imperia ac plerosque 
ad finem vitae in isdem exercitibus aut iurisdic- 
tionibus habere. Causae variae traduntur: alii 
taedio novae curae semel placita pro aeternis serva- 

^ Interamnates Beroaldus : ante manates. 
2 diductus Beroaldus : deduetus. 
^ maiorum Nipperdey : sociorum. 
* Pisonis] Cn. Pisonis Nipperdey. 
^ concedcretur Lipsius : concederet. 



^ Chiana. 

^ Of Interamna Nahartium (now Temi) in Umbria. As the 
town was the birthplace of the emperor Tacitus, it erected a 
tomb to the historian also — only, it is said, to destroy it at the 
order of Pius V as that of an enemy of Christianity. 

^ Nera. , 

* Of Reate (the modern Rieti). 



378 



BOOK I. LXXIX.-LXXX. 

were heard. The Florentines pleaded that the 
Clanisi should not be deflected from its old bed into 
the Arno, to bring ruin upon themselves. The Inter- 
amnates'2 case was similar: — "The most generous 
fields of Italy were doomed, if the Nar ^ should over- 
flow after this scheme had split it into rivulets." 
Nor were the Reatines* silent : — " They must protest 
against the Veline Lake^ being dammed at its outlet 
into the Nar, as it would simply break a road into 
the surrounding country. Nature had made the best 
provision for the interests of humanity, when she 
assigned to rivers their proper mouths — their proper 
courses — their limits as well as their origins. Con- 
sideration, too, should be paid to the faith of their 
fathers, who had hallowed rituals and groves and 
altars to their country streams. Besides, they were 
j reluctant that Tiber himself, bereft of his tributary 
streams, should flow with diminished majesty." 
\\Tiatever the deciding factor — the prayers of the 
colonies, the difficulty of the woi'k, or superstition — 
the motion of Piso, " that nothing be changed," 
was agreed to. 

LXXX. Poppaeus Sabinus was continued in his 
province of Moesia^, to which Achaia and Macedonia 
Mere added. It was one of the peculiarities of 
Tiberius to prolong commands, and, as often as not, 
to retain the same man at the head of the same 
army or administrative district till his dying day. 
Various reasons are given. Some hold it was the 
weary dislike of recurring trouble which caused 

^ Lago di Pie-di-Lugo. The lake lay between Reat« and 
Interamna : the outlet was in reality artificial (Cic. ad Att. IV. 
15). 

* An imperial province corresponding pretty closely to the 
Servia and Bnlgaria of twenty years ago. 

379 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

visse ; quidam invidia, ne plures fruerentur ; sunt 
qui existiment, ut callidum eius ingenium, ita an- 
xium iudicium ; neque enim eminentis virtutes 
sectabatur, et rursum vitia oderat : ex optimis peri- 
culum sibi,^ a pessimis dedecus publicum metuebat. 
Qua haesitatione postremo eo provectus est, ut 
mandaverit quibusdam provincias, quos egredi urbe 
non erat passurus. 

LXXXI. De comitiis consularibus, quae turn 
primum illo principe ac deinceps fuere, vix quic- 
quam firmare ausim: adeo diversa non modo apud 
auctores, sed in ipsius orationibus reperiuntur. 
Modo, subtractis candidatorum nominibus, originem 
cuiusque et vitam et stipendia descripsit, ut qui forent 
intellegeretur ; aliquando, ea quoque signification e 
subtracta, candidatos hortatus ne ambitu comitia 
turbarent, suam ad id curam pollicitus est. Ple- 
rumque eos tantum apud se professos disseruit, 
quorum nomina consulibus edidisset ; posse et alios 
profiteri, si gratiae aut meritis confiderent: speciosa 
verbis, re inania aut subdola, quantoque maiore 
libertatis imagine tegebantur, tanto eruptura ad 
infensius servitium. 

^ sibi Vidoritis : sibi sibi. 



380 



BOOK I. Lxxx.-ixxxi. 

- -. to treat a decision once framed as eternally 
valid; others that he grudged to see too many 
men enjoying preferment ; while there are those 
who beheve that as his intellect was shrewd so his 
judgment was hesitant ; for, on the one hand, he did 
not seek out pre-eminent virtue, and, on the other, 
he detested vice : the best he feared as a private 
danger, the worst as a pubHc scandal. In the end, 
this vacillation carried him so far that he gave pro- 
vinces to men whom he was never to allow to 
leave Rome. 

LXXXI. As to the consular elections, from this 
year's — the first — do\\-n to the last of the reign, I 
can hardly ventiu-e a smgle definite assertion : so 
conflicting is the evidence, not of the historians alone, 
but of the emperor's own speeches. Sometimes, he 
hheld the candidate's names, but described the 
:h, career, and campaigns of each in terms that 
left his identity in no doubt. Sometimes even these 
clues were suppressed, and he vurged " the candi- 
dates " not to \dtiate the election by intrigue, and 
promised his own efibrts to that end. Generally, he 
declared that no one had applied to him for nomina- 
tion, except those whose names he had divulged to 
the consuls: others might still apply, if they had 
confidence in their influence or their merits. In 
words the policy was specious; in reahty, it was 
nugatory or perfidious and destined to issue in a 
servitude all the more detestable the more it was 
disguised under a semblance of Uberty ! 



381 



BOOK II 



LIBER II 

I. SiSENNA Statilio,^ L. Libone consulibus, mota 
Orientis regna provinciaeque Romanae, initio apud 
Parthos orto, qui petitum Roma, acceptumque 
regem, quamvis gentis Arsacidarum, ut externum 
aspernabantur. Is fuit Vonones, obses Augusto 
datus a Phraate. Nam Phraates, quamquam de- 
pulisset exercitus ducesque Romanes, cuncta vener- 
antium officia ad Augustum verterat partemque 
prolis firmandae amicitiae miserat, haud perinde 
nostri metu quam fidei popularium diffisus. 

II. Post finem Phraatis et sequentium regum 
ob internas caedis venere in urbem legati a primo- 
ribus Parthis, qui Vononem vetustissimum libero- 
rum eius aceirent. Magnificum id sibi credidit Cae- 
sar auxitque opibus. Et accepere barbari laetantes, 
ut ferme ad nova imperia. Mox subiit pudor dege- 
neravisse Parthos : petitum alio ex orbe regem, 
hostium artibus infectum; iam inter provincias 
Romanas solium Arsacidarum haberi darique. Vbi 

^ Statilio Bitter : Statilio Tauro. 

^ Statilio Tauro is correct in point of fact, but the two 
cognomina are against the usage of Tacitus. 

* The royal house of Parthia, lasting approximately from 
260 B.C. to 230 A.D., when it fell before the new Persian 
Empire of the Sassanids. 

3 Phraates IV (37 B.C.-2 -i.i).). The reference in the 
beginning of the next sentence is to Antony's great and ill- 
starred expedition against Parthia in 36 B.C. See Plut. Ani. 
37 sqq. ; D. Cass. XLIX. 24 sqq. 



BOOK II 

I. With the consulate of Statilius Sisenna^ andA.v.a769^ 
Lucius Libo came an upheaval among the inde- ^°' ^ 
pendent kingdoms and Roman provinces of the East. 

The movement started with the Parthians, who 
despised as an alien the sovereign whom they had 
sought and received from Rome, member though he 
was of the Arsacian house. ^ This was Vonones, once 
given by Phraates^ as a hostage to Augustus. For, 
though he had thrown back Roman armies and com- 
manders, to the emperor Phraates had observed 
every point of respect, and, to knit the friendship 
closer, had sent him part of his family, more from 
distrust of his countrymen's loyalty than from any 
awe of ourselves. 

II. After domestic murders had made an end of 
Phraates and his successors, a deputation from the 
Parthian nobility arrived in Rome, to summon 
Vonones,* as the eldest of his children, to the throne. 
The Caesar took this as an honour to himself and 
presented the youth with a considerable sum. The 
barbarians, too, accepted him with the pleasure they 
usually evince at a change of sovereigns. It quickly 
gave place to shame : — " The Parthians h^d degen- 
erated : they had gone to another continent for a 
king tainted with the enemy's arts, and now the 
throne of the Arsacidae was held, or given away, as 
one of the provinces of Rome. Where was the glory 

* Vouonee I (7 or S-U a.d.). 

385 

VOL. II. C C 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

illam gloriam trucidantium Crassum, exturbantium 
Antonium, si mancipium Caesaris, tot per annos 
servitutem perpessum, Parthis imperitet? Accen- 
debat dedignantis et ipse diversus a maiorum insti- 
tutis, raro venatu, segni equorum cura; quotiens 
per urbes incederet, lecticae gestamine fastuque erga 
patrias epulas. Inridebantur et Graeci comites ac 
vilisstma utensilium anulo clausa. Sed prompti 
aditus, obvia comitas, ignotae Parthis virtutes, 
nova vitia ; et quia ipsorum moribus ^ aliena perinde 
odium pravis et honestis. 

III. Igitur Artabanus Arsacidarum e sanguine 
apud Dahas adultus excitur, primoque congressu 
fusus reparat viris regnoque potitur. Victo Vononi 
perfugium Armenia fuit, vacua tunc interque Par- 
thorum et Romanas opes infida ob scelus Antonii, 
qui Artavasden regem Armeniorum, specie ami- 
citiae inlectum, dein catenis oneratum, postremo 
interfecerat. Eius filius Artaxias, memoria patris 

^ moribus Muretus : maioribus. 

1 At Carrhae (53 B.C.). 

'^ The locus classicus is Justin XLI. 3 : Came non nisi 
venatibus quaesita vescuntur. Equis omni tempore vectantur : 
illis bdla, illis convivia, illis publica ac privata officia obeuni 
e.q.s. 

* Of the king with his grandees (megistanes). So, on the 
death of Germanicus, it was said regum etiam regem et exerci- 
tatione venandi et convictu megistanum abstinuisse, quod apud 
Parthos iustiti instar est (Suet. Cal. 7). 

* Artabanus III (11-40 a.d.). 

* A Scythian race to the south-east of the Caspian Sea. 

* The following list of Armenian sovereigns may make this 
and the following chapter a little clearer : 66 or 65 B.c- 
34 B.C. Artavasdes I (played Antony false in his Parthian 
campaign of 36 b.c. ; entrapped by him two years later and 
handed to Cleopatra; executed by her in 30 B.c.) : 33 b.c- 

386 



BOOK II. ii.-iii. 

of the men who slew Crassus ^ and ejected Antony, 
if a chattel of the Caesar, who had brooked his 
bondage through all these years, was to govern 
Parthians?" Their contempt was heightened by 
the man himself, \\-ith his remoteness from ancestral 
traditions, his rare appearances in the hunting-field, 
his languid interest in horseflesh.^ his use of a htter 
when passing through the towns, and his disdain of 
the national banquets.^ Other subjects for mirth 
were his Greek retinue and his habit of keeping 
even the humblest household necessaries under seal. 
His easy accessibihty, on the other hand, and his 
unreserved courtesy— \lrtues unknown to Parthia — 
were construed as exotic vices ; and the good and 
ill in him, as they were equally strange to the 
national character, were impartially abhorred. 

III. Consequently Artabanus,* an Arsacian of the 
blood, who had grown to manhood among the Dahae,* 
was brought into the Usts, and, though routed in the 
first engagement, rallied his forces and seized the 
kingdom. 

The defeated Vonones found shelter in Armenia, 
then a masterless land between the Parthian and 
Roman empires — a dubious neighbour to the latter 
owing to the criminal action of Antony, who, after 
entrapping the late king, Artavasdes, by a parade 
of friendship, had then thrown him into irons and 
finally executed him.* His son Artaxias, hostile to 

20 B.C. Artaxias II (" nohiBinlensQa''^ massacred all Bomana 
in his dominions) : 20 B.C.-6 B.C., approximately, a. Tigranes 
II (" datos a Caesare Armeniis "; established on the throne 
by Tiberiiis — see Hor. Epp. I. 12, 16); b. Tigranes III and 
Erato (husband and wife as well as brother and sister; joint 
sovereigns); 6 b.c.-1 b.c., approximately, o. Artavasdes II 
(" iossu Auguriti impositus"); 6. Tisanes III and Eraio 

cc2 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

nobis infensus, Arsacidarum vi seque regnumque 
tutatus est. Occiso Artaxia per dolum propinquo- 
rum, datus a Caesare Armeniis Tigranes deduc- 
tusque in regnum a Tiberio Nerone. Nee Tigrani 
diuturnum imperium fuit neque liberis eius, quam- 
quam sociatis more externo in matrimonium reg- 
numque. 

IV. Dein iussu Augusti inpositus Artavasdes et 
non sine clade nostra deiectus. Turn Gaius Caesar 
componendae Armeniae deligitur. Is Ariobarzanen, 
origine Medum, ob insignem corporis formam et 
praeclarum animum volentibus Armeniis praefecit. 
Ariobarzane morte fortuita absumpto stirpem eius 
baud toleravere ; temptatoque feminae imperio, 
cui nomen Erato, eaque brevi pulsa, incerti solutique 
et magis sine domino quam in libertate profugum 
Vononen in regnum accipiunt. Sed ubi minitari 
Artabanus et parum subsidii in Armeniis, vel, si 
nostra vi defenderetur, bellum adversus Parthos 
sumendum erat, rector Syriae Creticus Silanus exci- 
tum custodia circumdat, manente luxu et regio 
nomine. Quod ludibrium ut efFugere agitaverit 
Vonones in loco reddemus. 

(restored) : 1 B.c.-ll a.d., approximately, a. Ariobarzanes 
(" origine Medus ") ; b, Arlavasdes III (his son) ; c. Tigranes IV 
(cf. VI. 40) ; d. Erato (again restored ?) : 11 or 12 a.d. Vojianes. 

^ The allusion, of course, is to the custom of sister-marriage 
— ^the survival probably of a period when the blood royal could 
be transmitted only in the female line. Familiar instances 
are the Carian dynasts (Mausolus-Ari;emisia, Idrieus-Ada) 
and the native and even Ptolemaic sovereigns of Egypt 
(Ptolemy Philadelphus-Arsinoe, Ptolemy Philopator-Arsinoe). 

* See I. 3. Invested with proconsular power and sent out 
as vice-regent to the eastern provinces in 1 B.C., he was 
treacherously wounded in Armenia (3 a.d.), and died before, 
reaching Italy (Feb. 21, 4 a.d.). 

388 



BOOK II. iii.-iv. 

ourselves on account of his father's memory, was 
able to protect himself and his crown by the arms 
of the Arsacidae. After his assassination by the 
treachery of his own relatives, the Caesar assigned 
Tigranes to Armenia, and he was settled in his 
dominions by Tiberius Nero. Tigranes' term of 
royalty was brief; and so was that of his children, 
though associated by the regular oriental ties of 
marriage and joint government.^ 

IV. In the next place, by the mandate of Au- 
gustus, Artavasdes was imposed upon his country- 
men — only to be shaken off, not without a measure 
of discredit to our arms. Then came the appoint- 
ment of Gaius Caesar 2 to compose the affairs of 
Armenia. He gave the crown to Ariobarzanes, a 
Mede ' by extraction ; to whose good looks and 
brilliant qualities the Armenians raised no objection. 
But when an accident carried off Ariobarzanes, 
their tolerance did not reach to his family ; and 
after an experiment in female govenunent with a 
queen called Erato, who was quickly expelled, the 
drifting, disintegrated people, ownerless rather than 
emancipated, welcomed the fugitive Vonones to the 
throne. But as Artabanus became threatening and 
little support could be expected from the Ar- 
menians, while the armed protection of Rome would 
entail a Parthian Mar, Creticus Silanus, governor of 
Syria, obtained his- eviction, and placed him under 
a surveillance which still left him his luxuries and 
his title. His attempt to escape from this toy 
court we shall notice in its proper place.* 

^ From Media Atropatene (Azerbeidjdn), between Armenia 
and Media proper : an appanage of the Arsacidae. 
* See below, chap. 68. 

389 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

V. Ceterum Tiberio baud ingratum accidit tur- 
bari res Orientis, iit ea specie Germanicum suetis 
legionibus abstraheret novisque provinciis imposi- 
tum dolo simul et casibus obiectaret. At ille, quanto 
acriora in eum studia militum et aversa patrui 
voluntas, celerandae victoriae intentior, tractare 
proeliorum vias et quae sibi tertium iam annum 
belligeranti saeva vel prospera evenissent. Fundi 
Germanos acie et iustis locis, iuvari silvis, paludibus, 
brevi aestate et praematura hieme ; suum militem 
baud perinde vulneribus quam spatiis itinerum, 
damno armorum adfici; Ifessas Gallias ministrandis 
equis ; longum impedimentorum agmen opportu- 
num ad insidias, defensantibus iniquum. At si mare 
intretur, promptam ipsis possessionem et hostibus 
ignotam, simul bellum maturius incipi legionesque 
et commeatus pariter vehi ; integriun equitem equos- 
que per ora et alveos flimiinum media in Germania 
fore. 

VI. Igitur hue intendit, missis ad census Gallia- 
rum P. Vitellio et C. Antio.* Silius et Caecina ^ 
fabricandae classi praeponuntur. Mille naves sufficere 
visae properataeque, aliae breves, angusta puppi 

1 C. Antio Ursinius : cantio. 

2 Silins et Caecina Urlichs : Silius et Anteius et Caecina. 



BOOK II. v.-vi. 

V. For Tiberius the disturbances in the East were 
a not unwelcome accident, as they supplied hinj ^ith 
a ])retext for removing Germanicus from his famiHar 
legions and appointing him to unkno^vn provinces, 
where he would be vulnerable at once to treachery 
and chance. But the keener the devotion of his 
soldiers and the deeper the aversion of his uncle, 
the more anxious grew the prince to accelerate his 
victory; and he began to consider the ways and 
means of battle in the light of the failures and 
successes which had fallen to his share during the 
past two years of campaigning. In a set engage- 
ment and on a fair field, the Germans, he reflected, 
were beaten — their advantage lay in the forests and 
swamps, the short summer and the premature 
winter. His own men were not so much affected by 
their wounds as by the dreary marches and the loss 
of their weapons. The GalHc provinces were weary 
of furnishing horses ; and a lengthy baggage-train 
was easy to waylay and awkward to defend. But if 
they ventured on the sea, occupation would be easy 
for themselves and undetected by the enemy ; while 
the campaign might begin at an earher date, and 
the legions and supplies be conveyed together : the 
cavalry and horses would be taken up-stream 
through the river-mouths and landed fresh in the 
centre of Germany. 

VI. To this course, then, he bent his attention. 
Pubhus Vitelhus and Gains Antius were sent to 
assess the GalHc tribute : Silius and Caecina were 
made responsible for the construction of a fleet. A 
thousand vessels were considered enough, and these 
were built at speed. Some were short craft with 
very little poop or prow, and broad-bellied, the more 

391 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

proraque et lato utero, quo facilius fluctus tolerarent ; 
quaedam planae carinis, ut sine noxa siderent; 
plures adpositis utrimque gubernaculis, converse ut 
repente remigio hinc vel illinc adpellerent ; multae 
pontibus stratae, super quas tormenta veherentur, 
simul aptae ferendis equis aut commeatui; velis 
habiles, citae remis augebantur alacritate militum 
in speciem ac terrorem. Insula Batavorum in 
quam convenirent praedicta, ob facilis adpulsus 
accipiendisque copiis et transmittendum ad bellum 
opportuna. Nam Rhenus uno alveo continuus aut 
modicas insulas circumveniens apud principiiun agri 
Batavi velut in duos amnis dividitur, servatque 
nomen et violentiam cursus, qua Germaniam prae- 
vehitur, donee Oceano ftiisceatur ; ad Gallicam ripam 
latior et placidior adfluens (verso cognomento Vaha- 
lem accolae dicunt), mox id quoque vocabulum 
mutat Mosa flumine eiusque inmenso ore eundem 
in Oceanum efFunditur. 

VII. Sed Caesar, dum adiguntur naves, SiHum 
legatum cum expedita manu inruptionem in Chattos 
facere iubet : ipse audito castellum Lupiae flumini 
adpositum obsideri, sex legiones eo duxit. Neque 
Silio ob subitos imbris aliud actum quam ut modicam 
praedam et Arpi principis Chattorum coniugem 
filiamque raperet, neque Caesari copiam pugnae 

^ The Rhine delta, as explained below. 

2 Now the Old (" Crooked ") Rhine— little better than a 
ditch — on which Utrecht and Leyden stand. 

^ If this is not the Fort Aliso mentioned below, its position 
cannot be even conjectured. 



BOOK II. vi.-vii. 

easily to withstand a heavy sea : others had flat 
bottoms, enabling them to run aground without 
damage ; while still more were fitted ^vith rudders at 
each end, so as to head either way the moment the 
oarsmen reversed their stroke. Many had a deck- 
flooring to carry the mihtary engines, though they 
were equally useful for transporting horses or sup- 
plies. The whole armada, equipped at once for 
saihng or propulsion by the oar, was a striking and 
formidable spectacle, rendered still more so by the 
enthusiasm of the soldiers. The Isle of Batavia^ was 
fixed for the meeting-place, since it afforded an easy 
landing and was convenient both as a rendezvous 
for the troops and as the base for a campaign across 
the water. For the Rhine, which so far has flowed 
in a single channel, save only where it circles some 
unimportant islet, branches at the Batavian frontier 
into what may be regarded as two rivers. On the 
German side, it runs unchanged in name and vehe- 
mence till its juncture with the North Sea : ^ the 
Galhc bank it washes ^vith a wider, gentler stream, 
known locally as the Waal, though before long it 
changes its style once more and becomes the river 
Meuse, through whose immense estuary it dis- 
charges, also into the North Sea. 

VII. However, while the ships were coming in, the 
Caesar ordered his lieutenant Silius to take a mobile 
force and raid the Chattan territory : he himself, 
hearing that the fort on the Lippe ^ was invested, 
led six legions to its relief. But neither could Sihus, 
in consequence of the sudden rains, effect anything 
beyond carrying off a modest quantity of booty, 
together with the wife and daughter of the Chattan 
chief, Arpu'i, nor did the besiegers allow the prince 

393 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

obsessores fecere, ad famam adventus eius dilapsi: 
tumulum tamen nuper Varianis legianibus structum 
et veterem aram Druso sitam disiecerant. Restituit 
aram honorique patris princeps ipse cum legionibus 
decucurrit; tumulum iterare baud visum. Et 
cuncta inter castellum Alisonem ac Rhenum novis 
limitibus aggeribusque permunita. 

VIII. lamque classis advenerat, cum praemisso 
commeatu et distributis in legiones ac socios navibus 
fossam, cui Drusianae nomen, ingressus precatusque 
Drusum patrem ut se eadem ausum libens placatus- 
que exemplo ac memoria consiliorum atque operum 
iuvaret, lacus inde et Oceanum usque ad Amisiam 
flumen secunda navigatione pervehitur. Classis 
Amisiae ore ^ relicta laevo amne, erratumque in eo 
quod non subvexit aut ^ transposuit militem dex- 
tx-as in terras iturum; ita plures dies efficiendis 
pontibus absumpti. Et eques quidem ac legiones 
prima aestuaria, nondum adcrescente unda, intre- 
pidi transiere : postremum auxiliormn agmen Bata- 
vique in parte ea, dum insultant aquis artemque 
nandi ostentant, turbati et quidam hausti sunt. 

^ Amisiae ore Seyffert : Amisiae. 
2 subvexit aut Wurm : subvexit. 

1 See 1. 62. 

2 Almost certainly the fort constructed by Drusus at the 
confluence of the Lippe and "Eliso" {^ o re Aotmlas Kal 6 
'EXCacov avp.iiiyvvvTai, D. Cass. LIV. 33). If the EUso is the 
Alme (the oldest and perhaps most probable view), the fort 
must be placed near Paderbom; if the Ahse, then near 
Hamm; and if the Stever, about Haltem. 

3 The name here includes not only the canal, some two 
miles long, by which Drusus connected the northern branch 
of the Rfine near Amheim with the Yssel, but the widened 
course of the stream itself. 

394 



BOOK II. vii.-vm. 

an opportunity of battle, but melted away at the 
rumour of his approach. Still, they had demolished 
the funeral mound just raised in memory of the 
Varian legions ,i as well as an old altar set up to 
Drusus. He restored the altar and himself headed 
the legions in the celebrations in honour of his. 
father; the tumulus it was decided not to recon- 
struct. In addition, the whole stretch of country 
between Fort Aliso 2 and the Rhine was thoroughly 
fortified with a fresh hne of barriers and earthworks. 

VIII. The fleet had now arrived. Supphes were 
sent forward, ships assigned to the legionaries and 
alhes, and he entered the so-called Drusian Fosse.^ 
After a prayer to his father, beseeching him of his 
grace and indulgence to succour by the example and 
memory of his wisdom and prowess a son who had 
ventured in his footsteps,* he pursued liis voyage 
through the lakes ^ and the high sea, and reached the 
Eras without misadventure. The fleet stayed in the 
uth of the river on the left side, and an error 

IS committed in not carrying the troops further 
up-stream or disembarking them on the right bank 
for which they were bound ; the consequence being 
that several days were wasted in bridge-building. 
The estuaries immediately adjoining were crossed 
intrepidly enough by the cavalry and legions, before 
the tide had begun to flow : the auxiliaries in the 
extreme rear and the Batavians in the same part of 
the hne, while dashing into the water and exhibiting 
their powers of swimming, were thro'WTi into disorder, 
and a number of them drowned. As the Caesar 

* Suet. Claud. 1 : Drusus . . . Oceanum septenUrionalem 
primus Bomanorum ducum navigavit. 

* The Zuyderzee. 

395 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

Metanti castra Caesari Angrivariorum ^ defectio a 
tergo nuntiatur : missus ilico Stertinius cuni equite 
et armatura levi igne et caedibus perfidiam ultus est. 

IX. Flumen Visurgis Romanos Cheruscosque 
interfluebat ; eius in ripa cum ceteris primoribus 
Arminius adstitit, quaesitoque an Caesar venisset, 
postquam adesse responsum est, ut liceret cum fratre 
conloqui oravit. Erat is in exercitu cognomento 
Flavus, insignis fide et amisso per vulnus oculo 
paucis ante annis duce Tiberio. Tum permissu * * ^ 
progressusque salutatur ab Arminio ; qui amotis 
stipatoribus, ut sagittarii nostra pro ripa dispositi 
abscederent postulat, et postquam digressi, unde 
ea deformitas oris interrogat fratrem. Illo locum et 
proelium referente, quodnam praemium recepisset 
exquirit. Flavus aucta stipendia, torquem et coro- 
nam aliaque militaria dona memorat, inridente Ar- 
minio vilia servitii pretia. 

X. Exim diversi ordiuntur, hie magnitudinem 
Romanam, opes Caesaris et victis gravis poenas, 
in deditionem venienti paratam clementiam ; neque 
coniugem et filium eius hostiliter haberi : ille fas 

^ Angrivariorum] Ampsivariorum Oiefers. 
2 **2^ipperdey. 

^ In chap. 19 the tribe is found east of the Weser; 
whence Giefers' conjecture Ampsivariorum. No certainty 
can be felt on the point ; and it is possible, even, that some- 
thing is lost before metanti castra, as it is difficult to suppose 
that the march from the Ems to the west bank of the Weser 
could have been passed over without a word. 

2 Merivale pointed out that the breadth of the Weser 
makes the following narrative questionable. Other over- 
picturesque touches in Tacitus' sources are Germanicus' 
dream (chap. 14) and the apparition of the eight eagles 
(chap. 17). 

396 ! 



BOOK II. viii.-x. 

was arranging his encampment, news came of an 
Angrivarian ^ rising in his rear : Stertinius, who was 
instantly despatched with a body of horse and hght- 
armed infantry, repaid the treachery with fire and 
bloodshed. 

IX. The river Weser ran between the Roman and 
Cheruscan forces. Arminius came to the bank and 
halted with his fellow-chieftains : — " Had the Caesar 
come ? " he inquired. ^ On recei\ing the reply that 
he was in presence, he asked to be allowed to speak 
with his brother. That brother, Flavus by name, 
was sei*ving in the army, a conspicuous figure both 
from his loyalty and from the loss of an eye through 
a wound received some few years before during 
Tiberius' term of conunand. Leave was granted, 
<^and Stertinius took him do\\"n to the river>.^ Walk- 
ing forward, he was greeted by Arminius ; who, dis- 
missing his own escort, demanded that the archere 
posted along our side of the stream should be also 
withdrawii. When these had retired, he asked his 
brother, whence the disfigurement of his face ? On 
being told the place and battle, he inquired what 
reward he had received. Flavus mentioned his in- 
creased pay, the chain, the crown, and other miUtary 
decorations ; Arminius scoffed at the cheap rewards 
of servitude. 

X. They now began to argue from their opposite 
points of view. Flavus insisted on " Roman great- 
ness, the power of the Caesar ; the heavy penalties 
for the vanquished ; the mercy always waiting for 
him who submitted himself. Even Arminius' wife 
and child were not treated as enemies." His brother 

^ The text translates roughly Nipperdey's proposal : Turn 
permissu (imperatoris deducitur a Stertinio/, jnogre-ssusque e.q.s. 

397 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

patriae, libertatem avitam, penetralis Germaniae 
deos, matrem precum sociam, ne propinquorum et 
adfinium, denique gentis suae desertor et proditor 
quam liberator 1 esse mallet. Paulatim inde ad iurgia 
prolapsi quo minus pugnam consererent ne flumine 
quidem interiecto cohibebantur, ni Stertinius adcur- 
rens plenum irae armaque et equum poscentem 
Flaviun attinuisset. Cernebatur contra minitabun- 
dus Arminius proeliumque denuntians ; nam ple- 
raque Latino sermone interiaciebat, ut qui Romanis 
in castris ductor popularium meruisset. 

XL Postero die Gemianorum acies trans Visur- 
gim stetit. Caesar nisi pontibus praesidiisque inpo- 
sitis dare in discrimen legiones baud imperatorium 
ratus, equitem vado tramittit. Praefuere Stertinius 
et e numero primipilariiun Aemilius, distantibus locis 
invecti, ut hostem diducerent : ^ qua celerrimus 
amnis, Chariovalda, dux Batavorum, erupit. Eum 
Cherusci, fugam simulantes, in planitiem saltibus 
circumiectam traxere : dein coorti et undique efFusi 
trudunt adversos, instant cedentibus collectosque in 
orbem pars congressi, quidam eminus proturbant. 
Chariovalda, diu sustentata hostium saevitia, horta- 

^ liberator Jacob : imperator. 

2 diducerent Rhenanus : deducerent. 

1 The leading centurion of the sixty in a legion was the 
primipilus — ^the first centurion of the first maniple of the first 
cohort. On the completion of his service he frequently 
received equestrian rank, and was employed in positions of 
very considerable responsibility. Here Aemilius (probably 
the vir militaris of IV. 42) acts as praefectus equitum. An 
inscription, which should apparently be referred to him, 
rims : Paulo AemiUo, D. f., primo pUo, bis praefecto equitum, 
tribune cohortis IIII praetoriae (C.I.L. X. 3881). 



BOOK II. x.-xi. 

urged "the sacred call of their country; their 
ancestral liberty ; the gods of their German hearths ; 
and their mother, who prayed, with himself, that he 
would not choose the title of renegade and traitor to 
his kindred, to the kindi-ed of his ynfe, to the whole 
of his race in fact, before that of their liberator." 
From this point they drifted, little by little, into 
recriminations ; and not even the intervening river 
would have prevented a duel, had not Stertinius 
run up and laid a restx-aining hand on Flavus, who 
in the fullness of his anger was calhng for his weapons 
and his horse. On the other side AiToinius was 
visible, shouting threats and challenging to battle: 
for he kept interjecting much in Latin, as he had seen 
service in the Roman camp as a captain of native 
auxiliaries. 

XI. On the morrow, the Gennan hne drew up 
beyond the Weser. The Caesar, as he held it doubt- 
ful generalship to risk the legions without providing 
adequately guarded bridges, sent his cavalry across 
by a ford. Stertinius and AemiUus — a retired cen- 
turion of the first rank^ — were in command, and, in 
order to distract the enemy, delivered the assault 
at M-idely separate points : where the current ran 
fiercest, Chariovalda, the Batavian leader, dashed 
out. By a feigned retreat the Cherusci drew him on 
to a level piece of ground fringed with woods : then, 
breaking cover, they streamed out from all quarters, 
overwhelmed the Batavians where they stood their 
ground, harassed them where they retired, and, when 
they ralhed in circular formation, flung them back, 
partly by hand-to-hand fighting, partly by discharges 
of missiles. After long sustaining the fury of the 
enemy, Chariovalda exhorted his men to hack a way, 

399 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

tus suos ut ingruentis catervas globo perfringerent,i 
atque ipse ^ densissimos inrumpens, congestis telis 
et suffosso equo labitur, ac multi nobilium circa: 
ceteros vis sua aut equites cum Stertinio Aemilioque 
subvenientes periculo exemere. 

XII. Caesar transgressus Visurgim indicio per- 
fugae cognoscit delectum ab Arminio locum pugnae ; 
convenisse et alias nationes in silvam Herculi sacram 
ausurosque nocturnam castrorum oppugnationem. 
Habita indici fides et cex'nebantur ignes, suggres- 
sique propius speculatores audiri fremitum equorum 
inmensique et inconditi agminis murmur attulere. 
Igitur propinquo summae rei discrimine explorandos 
miUtum animos ratus, quonam id modo incorruptum 
foret secum agitabat. Tribunes et centuriones 
laeta saepius quam comperta nuntiare, libertorum 
servilia ingenia, amicis inesse adulationem; si 
contio vocetur, illic quoque quae pauci incipiant 
reliquos adstrepere. Penitus noscendas mentes, 
cmn secreti et incustoditi inter miUtaris cibos spem 
aut metimi proferrent. 

XIII. Nocte coepta egressus augurali per occulta 
et vigilibus ignara, comite uno, contectus mneros 
ferina pelle, adit castrorum vias, adsistit tabernacu- 

^ peiiringereiit Bezzenberger : fringerent. 
^ ipse Weissenborn : ipsis. 

^ Oerm. 3 : Fuisse apvd eos et Herculem memorant, 
primutnque omnium nirorum fortium ituri in prodia canunt. 
'' His object may have been to pass for a native auxiliary. 

400 



BOOK II. xi.-xiii. 

in mass, through the assaihng bands ; then threw 
himself into the thickest of the struggle, and fell 
mider a shower of spears, with his horse stabbed 
inider him and many of his nobles around. The rest 
were extricated from danger by their own efforts or 
by the mounted men who advanced to the rescue 
under Stertinius and Aemilius. 

XII. After crossing the Weser, Germanicus 
gathered from the indications of a deserter that 
Arniinius had chosen his ground for battle : that 
other nations also had mustered at the holy forest 
of Hercules,^ and that the intention was to hazard 
a night attack on the camp. The informer's account 
carried conviction : indeed, the German fires could 
be discerned; and scouts, who ventured closer up, 
came in with the news that they could hear the 
neigh of horses and the munnur of a vast and 
tumultuous array. The Caesar, who thought it 
desirable, with the supreme decision hard at hand, 
to probe the feeling of his troops, debated with him- 
self how to ensure that the experiment should be 
genuine. The reports of tribunes and centurions 
were more often cheering than accurate ; the freed- 
man was a slave at heart ; in friends there was a 
strain of flattery ; should he convoke an assembly, 
even there a few men gave the lead and the rest 
applauded. He must penetrate into the soldiers' 
thoughts while, private and unguarded, they ex- 
pressed their hope or fear over their rations. 

XIII. At fall of night, leaving his pavilion by a 
secret outlet unkno-wn to the sentries, with a single 
attendant, a wild-beast's skin over his shoulders,- he 
turned into the streets of the camp, stood by the 
tents and tasted his own popularity, while the men — 

401 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

lis fruiturque fama sui, cum hie nobilitatem ducis, 
decorem alius, plurimi patientiam, comitatem, per 
seria, per iocos eundem in animixm ^ laudibus ferrent 
reddendamque gratiam in acie faterentur; simul 
perfidos et ruptores pacis ultioni et gloriae mactandos. 
Inter quae unus hostium, Latinae linguae sciens, 
acto ad vallum equo, voce magna, coniuges et agros 
et stipendii in dies, donee bellaretur, sestertios cen- 
tenos, si quis transfugisset, Arminii nomine polli' 
cetur. Intendit ea contumelia legionum iras : veniret 
dies, daretur pugna; sumpturum militem Ger- 
manorum agros, tracturum coniuges ; accipere omen 
et matrimonia ac pecunias hostium praedae desti- 
nare. Tertia -ferme vigilia adsultatum est castria 
sine coniectu teli, postquam crebras pro munimentis 
cohortes et nihil remissum sensere. 

XIV. Nox eadem lactam Germanico quietem 
tulit, viditque se operatum et sanguine saero * res- 
persa praetexta pulchriorem aliam manibus aviae 
Augustae accepisse. Auctus omine, addicentibus 
auspiciis, vocat contionem et quae sapientia pro- 
visa ^ aptaque inminenti pugnae disserit. Non cam- 
pos modo militi Romano ad proelium bonos, sed 
si ratio adsit, silvas et saltus; nee enim inmensa 

^ in animum Nipperdey : animum. 

* sacro Berodldus: sacri. 

^ provisa J. F. Oronovius : praevisa. 

1 Twenty-five denarii — an offer which, if made, could 
never have been taken seriously by the legionaries (see I. 17). 

402 



BOOK II. xiii.-xiv. 

serious or jesting but unanimous — praised some the 
comjuander's lineage, others his looks, the most his 
patience and his courtesy ; admitting that they must 
settle their debt of gratitude in the field and at the 
same time sacrifice to glory and revenge their per- 
fidious and treaty-breaking foe. In the midst of all 
this, one of the enemy, with a knowledge of Latin, 
galloped up to the wall, and in loud tones proffered 
to each deserter in the name of Arminius, wives and 
lands and a daily wage of one hundred sesterces^ for 
the duration of the war. This insult fired the anger 
of the legions : — " Wait till the day broke and they 
had the chance of battle ! The Roman soldier Avould 
help himself to German lands and come back drag- 
ging German Avives. The omen was welcome : the 
enemy's women and his money Mere marked down 
for prey ! " — Some time about the third watch, a 
demonstration was made against the camp, though 
not a spear was thrown, when the assailants realized 
that the ramparts were hned with cohorts and that 
no precaution had been omitted. 

XIV. The same night brought Germanicus a re- 
assuring vision : for he dreamed that he was offer- 
ing sacrifice, and that — as his vestment was be- 
spattered with the blood of the victim — he had 
received another, more beautiful, from the hand of 
his grandmother, Augusta. Elated by the omen, 
and finding the auspices favourable, he summoned a 
meeting of the troops and laid before them the 
measures his knowledge had suggested and the 
points likely to be of service in the coming struggle : — 
" A plain was not the only battle-field favourable 
to a Roman soldier: if he used judgment, woods 
and glades were equally suitable. The barbarians' 

403 

DO 2 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

barbaroruiii scuta, enoriiiis hastas inter truncos 
arbovum et enata humo virgulta periude haberi 
quam pila et gladios et haerentia corpori tegmina. 
Denserent ictus, ora mucronibus quaererent : uon 
loricam Germano, iion galeam, ue scuta quidem ferro 
nervove firmata, sed viminum textus vel tenuis et 
fucatas colore tabulas ; primam utcumque aciem 
hastatam, ceteris praeusta aut brevia tela. lam cor- 
pus ut visu torvum et ad breveni impetuni validuni, 
sic nulla vulnerum patientia. Sine pudore flagitii, 
sine cura ducuni abire, fugere, pavidos adversis, 
inter secunda non divini, non humani iui*is niemores. 
Si taedio viarum ac maris finem cupiant, hac acie 
parari : propiorem iam Albim quam Rhenum neque 
bellum ultra, modo se patris patruique vestigia 
prementem isdem in terris victorem sisterent. 

XV. Orationem ducis secutus militum ardor, 
signumque pugnae datimi. Nee Arminius aut ceteri 
Germanorum proceres omittebant suos quisque 
testari, hos esse Romanos Variani exercitus fugacis- 
simos qui, ne bellum tolerarent, seditionem induerint ; 
quorum pars onusta vulneribus terga,^ pars flucti- 
bus et procellis fractos artus infensis rursum hosti- 
bus, adversis dis obiciant, nulla boni spe. Classem 
1 terga Muretus : tergum. 

^ One of the three reminiscences of Horace which have been 
detected in Tacitus : see Carm. II. 6, 7, lasso maris et viarum 
and Epp. I. 11, 6, odio maris atque viarum. The other two 
may be found at XI. 15, laeta . . . in praesens = Carm. II. 
16, 25, laetus in praesens, and XV. 37 contaminatorum grege ■=- 
Carm. I. 37, 9 contaminafo cum grege. 

2 On the east of the Elba, the Suebi and Marbod (see 
I. 44 and the note, and, for an interesting account of Marbod's 
position, Seeck's Untergang der antiken Welt I. 228, sqq.) were 
friendly, or at least neutral. 
404 



BOOK II. xiv.-xv. 

huge shields, their enormous spears, could not be 
so manageable among tree-trunks and springing 
brush^vood as the pilum, the short sword, and close- 
fitting body-armour. Their pohcy was to strike thick 
and fast, and to direct the point to the face. The 
Germans carried neither corselet nor headpiece — 
not even shields with a toughening of metal or hide, 
but targes of wickerwork or thin, painted board. 
Their first line alone carried spears of a fashion : 
the remainder had only darts, fire-pointed or too 
short. Their bodies, again, while grim enough to 
the eye and powerful enough for a short-lived onset, 
lacked the stamina to support a wound. They were 
men who could turn and run without a blush for 
their disgrace and without a thought for their 
leaders, faint-hearted in adversity, in success regard- 
less of divine and human law. — If they were weary 
of road and sea.^ and desired the end, this battle 
could procure it. Already the Elbe was nearer 
than the Rhine, and there would be no fighting 
further ,2 if once, treading as he was in the footsteps 
of his father and his uncle, they established him 
victorious in the same region ! " 

X\'. The commander's speech was followed by an 
outburst of mihtary ardour, and the signal was given 
to engage. 

Nor did Arminius or the other German chieftains 
fail to call their several clans to witness that " these 
were the Romans of ^'arus' army who had been the 
quickest to run, men who rather than face war had 
resorted to mutiny ; half of whom were again expos- 
ing their spear-scored backs, half their wave and 
tempest-broken limbs, to a revengeful foe, under the 
fro\NT>s of Heaven and hopeless of success ! For it 

405 



THE ANNAI.S OF TACITUS 

quippe et avia Oceani quaesita ne quis venientibus 
occuiTcret, ne pulsos premeret: sed ubi miscuerint 
manus, inane victis ventorum remorurave subsi- 
dium. Meminissent modo avaritiae, crudelitatis, 
superbiae : aliud sibi reliquum quam tenere liber- 
tatem aut mori ante servitium ? 

XVI. Sic accensos et proelium poscentis in cam- 
pum, cui Idisiaviso ^ nomen, deducunt. Is medius 
inter Visurgim et collis, ut ripae fluminis cedunt 
aut prominentia montium resistant, inaequaliter 
sinuatur. Pone tergum insurgebat silva, editis in 
altum ramis et pura humo inter arborum truncos. 
Campum et prima silvarum barbara acies tenuit : 
soli Cherusci iuga insedere ut proeliantibus Romanis 
desuper incurrei'ent. Noster exercitus sic incessit : 
auxiliares Galli Geratianique in fronte, post quos 
pedites sagittarii ; dein quattuor legiones et cum 
duabus praetoriis cohortibus ac delecto equite Cae- 
sar; exim totidem aliae legiones et levis armatura 
cum equite sagittario ceteraeque sociorum cohortes, 
Intentus pavatusque miles ut ordo agminis in aciem 
adsisteret. 

XVII. Visis Cheruscorum catervis, quae per 
ferociam proruperant, validissimos equitum incur- 
rere latus, Stertinium cum ceteris turmis circumgredi 
tergaque ^ invadere iubet, ipse in tempore adfuturus. 

^ Idisiaviso Grimm : idista viso. 
2 tergaque Lipsius : tergave. 

* Grimm interpreted his emendation by Elfenwiese : 
attempted identifications are highly speculative. 

406 



BOOK 11. xv.-xvii. 

was to ships and pathless seas they had had recoursej 
so that none might oppose them as they came or 
chase them when they fled. But if once the fray 
was joined, winds and oars were a vain support for 
beaten men ! — They had only to remember Roman 
greed, cruelty, and pride : Avas there another course 
left for them but to hold their freedom or to die 
before enslavement? " 

XVI. Thus inflamed and clamouring for battle, 
they followed their leaders down into a plain known 
as Idisiaviso.^ Lyii^g between the Weser and the 
hills, it winds irregularly along, with here a con- 
cession from the river and there an encroachment by 
some mountain-spur. Behind rose the forest, lifting 
its branches high in air, and leaving the ground clear 
between the trunks. The barbarian line was posted 
on the level and along the skirts of the wood : the 
Cherusci alone were planted on the hill-tops, ready 
to charge from the height when the Romans engaged. 
Our army advanced in the following order : in the 
van, the auxiliary Gauls and Germans with the 
unmounted archers behind; next, four legions, and 
the Caesar with two praetorian cohorts and the 
flower of the cavalry ; then, four other legions, the 
light-armed troops with the mounted archers and 
the rest of the allied cohorts. The men were alert 
and ready, so arranged that the order of march 
could come to a halt in line of battle. 

XVII. On sighting the Cheruscan bands, whose 
wild hardihood had led them to dash forward, the 
prince ordered his best cavalry to charge the flank ; 
Stertinius with the remaining squadrons was to ride 
round and attack the rear, while he himself would 
not be wanting when the time came. Meanwhile 

407 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

Interea pulcherrimum augurium, octo aquilae petere 
silvas et intrare visae imperatorem advertere. 
Exclamat irent, sequerentui* Romanas avis, propria 
legionum numina. Simul pedestris acies infertur 
et praemissus eques postremos ac latera impulit. Mi- 
rumque dictu, duo hostium agmina diversa fuga, 
qui silvam tenuerant, in aperta, qui campis adsti- 
terant, in silvam ruebant. Medii inter hos Che- 
rusci collibus detrudebantur, inter quos insignis 
Arminius manu, voce, vulnere sustentabat pugnam. 
Incubueratque sagittariis, ilia rupturus, ni Rae- 
torum Vindelicorumque et Gallicae cohortes sign a 
obiecissent. Nisu tamen corporis et impetu equi 
pervasit, oblitus faciem suo cruore ne nosceretur. 
Quidam adgnitum a Chaucis inter auxilia Romana 
agentibus emissumque tradiderunt. Virtus seu fraus 
eadem Inguiomero effugium dedit : ceteri passim 
trucidati. Et plerosque tranare Visurgim conantis 
iniecta tela aut vis fluminis, postremo moles ruen- 
tium et incidentes ripae operuere. Quidam turpi 
fuga in summa arborum nisi ramisque se occultantes 
admotis sagittariis per ludibrium figebantur, alios 
prorutae arbores adflixere. 

^ One for each legion. " Critics have superfluously noted 
that eagles are now rarely if ever seen in those parts, and that 
their nearest representative, the ' vultur albucillus,' is not 
gregarious " : Fumeaux. 

4P8 



BOOK II. XVII. 

his attention was arrested by a curiously happy 
omen — eight ^ eagles seen aiming for. and entering, 
the glades. " Forward," he exclaimed, " and follow 
the birds of Rome, the guardian spirits of the legions 1" 
At the same moment the line of infantry charged 
and the advanced cavalry broke into the rear and 
flanks. Thus, remarkably enough, two columns of 
the enemy were following directly opposed lines of 
flight — the troops who had held the forest, rushing 
into the open ; those who had been stationed in the 
plain, diWrig into the forest. Midway between both, 
the Cherusci were being pushed from the hills — 
among them the unmistakable figure of Arminius, 
striking, shouting, bleeding, in his effort to maintain 
the struggle. He had flung himself on the archers, 
and would have broken through at that point, had 
not the Raetian, Vindelician, and Gallic cohorts 
opposed their standards. Even so, a great physical 
effort, together with the impetus of his horse, can-ied 
him clear. To avoid recognition, he had stained his 
face with his own blood ; though, according to some 
authorities, the Chauci serving among the Roman 
auxiliaries knew him and gave him passage. The 
like courage or the like treachery won escape for 
Inguiomerus : the rest were butchered in crowds. 
Numbers were overwhelmed in an attempt to swim 
the Weser, at first by the discharge of spears or the 
sweep of the current, later by the weight of the 
plunging masses and the collapse of the river-banks. 
Some clambered to an ignominious refuge in the tree- 
tops, and, while seeking cover among the branches, 
were shot down in derision by a body of archers, 
who had been moved up ; others were brought down 
by felling the trees. 

409 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

XVIII. Magna ea victoria neque cruenta nobis 
fuit. Quinta ab hora diei ad noctem caesi hostes 
decern milia passuum cadaveribus atque armis 
opplevere, repertis inter spolia eorum catenis quas 
in Romanos ut non dubio eventu portaverant. 

Miles in loco proelii Tiberium imperatorem salu- 
tavit struxitque aggerem et in modum tropaeorum 
arma subscriptis victarum gentium nominibus im- 
posiiit. 

XIX. Haut perinde Germanos vulnera, luctus, 
excidia quam ea species dolore et ira adfecit. Qui 
niodo abire sedibus, trans Albim concedere parabant, 
pugnara volunt, arma rapiunt; plebes, primores, 
inventus, senes agmen Romanum repente incursant, 
turbant. Postremo deligunt locum flumine et silvis 
clausum, arta intus planitie et umida ; silvas quoque 
profunda palus ambibat nisi quod latus unum Angri- 
varii lato aggere extulerant quo a Cheruscis diri- 
merentur. Hie pedes adstitit : equitem propinquis 
lucis texere ut ingressis silvam legionibus a tergo 
foret. 

XX. Nihil ex his ^ Caesari incognitum: consiha, 
locos, prompta, occulta noverat astusque hostium 
in perniciem ipsis vertebat. Seio Tuberoni legato 
tradit equitem campumque; peditura aciem ita 

^ his Oberlin : iis. 

^ This not improbable detail is found rather too frequently 
in the ancient historians. Furneaux cites Polyb. III. 82 and 
Florus III. 7, 2 : one might add Hdt. I. 66; D. Sic. XX. 13; 
1 Mace. iii. 41. 

* The sahdatio imperatoria, by which, under the republic, 
the victorious general was acclaimed as impercUor by his troops, 
and crowned with bays, was now, with the triumph, a prerog- 
ative of the princeps : a fact symbolized by the laurel planted 
before the palace. See below. III. 74. 
410 



BOOK II. xviii.-xx. 

XVIII. It was a brilliant, and to us not a bloody, 
victory. Tlie enemy were slaughtered from the fifth 
hour of dayhght to nightfall, and for ten miles the 
ground was littered ^^■ith corpses and weapons. 
Among the spoils were found the chains which, wiih- 
out a doubt of the result, they had brought in readi- 
ness for the Romans.^ 

After proclaiming Tiberius Imperator on the field of 
battle,^ the troops raised a mound, and decked it 
with arms in the fashion of a trophy, inscribing at 
the foot the names of the defeated clans, 

XIX. The sight aifected the Germans with an 
anguish and a fury which wounds, distress, and rmn 
had been powerless to evoke. Men, who a moment 
ago had been preparing to leave their homesteads 
and migrate across the Elbe, were now eager for 
battle and flew to arms. Commons and nobles, 
youth and age, suddenly assailed the Roman line 
of march and threw it into disorder. At last they 
fixed on a position pent in between a stream and 
tlie forests, ^^■ith a narrow, waterlogged plain in the 
centre ; the forests too were encircled by a deep 
swamp, except on one side, where the Angrivarii had 
raised a broad earthen barrier to mark the boundary 
between themselves and the Cherusci. Here the 
infantry took up their station ; the moimted men they 
concealed in the neighbouring groves, so as to be in 
the rear of the legions when they entered the forest. 

XX. None of these points escaped the Caesar. 
He was aware of their plans, their position, their 
open and secret arrangements, and he proposed to 
iturn the devices of the enemy to their o-wn ruin. 
To his legate, Seius Tubero, he assigned the cavalry 
land the plain ; the line of infantry he drew up so 

I 4" 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

instruxit ut pars aequo in silvam aditu incederet, 
pars obiectum aggerem eniteretur; quod arduum 
sibi, cetera legatis permisit. Quibus plana evene- 
rant, facile inrupere : quis inpugnandus agger, ut 
si murum succederent, gravibus superne ictibus 
conflictabantur. Sensit dux inparem comminus 
pugnam remotisque paulum legionibus funditores 
libritoresque excutere tela et proturbare hostem I 
iubet. Missae e tormentis hastae, quantoque con- I 
spicui magis propugnatores, tanto pluribus vulne- 
ribus deiecti. Primus Caesar cum praetoriis cohor 
tibus, capto vallo, dedit impetum in silvas. Con- 
lato illic gradu certatum : hostem a tergo palus, 
Romanes flumen aut montes claudebant ; utrisquet 
necessitas in loco, spes in virtute, salus exi 
victoria. 

XXI. Nee minor Germanis animus, sed genere 
pugnae et annorum superabantur, cum ingens mul- 
titude artis locis praelongas hastas non protenderet, 
non colligeret, neque adsultibus et velocitate cor- 
porum uteretur, coacta stabile ad proelium ; contra 
miles, cui scutum pectori adpressum et insidens 
capulo manus, latos barbarorurn artus, nuda ora 
foderet viamque strage hostium aperiret, inprompto 
iam Arminio ^ ob continua pericula, sive ilium recens 

1 iam Arminio BeroaMus : iam. 
412 



BOOK II. xx.-xxi. 

that one part should march by the level track to the 
forest, while the other scaled the obstacle presented 
by the barrier. The difficult part of the enterprise 
he reserved for himself, the rest he left to his deputies. 
The party to which the even ground had been allotted 
broke in ^sithout trouble ; their comrades with the 
barrier to force, much as if they had been scahng 
a wall, suffered considerably from the heavy blows 
delivered from higher ground. Feeling that the 
odds were against him at close quarters, Germanicus 
withdrew the legionaries a short distance, and ordered 
his slingers and marksmen to make play with their 
missiles and disperse the enemy. Spears were flung 
from the engines ; and the more conspicuous the 
defenders, the more numerous the wounds under 
which they fell. On the capture of the rampart, 
the Caesar charged foremost into the forest vWth the 
praetorian cohorts. There the conflict raged foot to 
foot. The enemy was hemmed in by the morass in 
his rear, the Romans by the river or the hills : the 
position left no choice to either, there was no hope 
but in courage, no salvation but from victory. 

XXI. In hardihood the Germans held their own ; 
but they were handicapped by the nature of the 
struggle and the weapons. Their extraordinary 
numbers — unable in the restricted space to extend 
or recover their tremendous lances, or to make use 
of their rushing tactics and nimbleness of body — 
were compelled to a standing fight ; while our own 
men, shields tight to the breast and hand on hilt, 
kept thrusting at the barbarians' great limbs and 
bare heads and opening a bloody passage through 
their antagonists — Arminius being now less active, 
whether owing to the succession of dangers or to 

413 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

acceptum vulnus tardaverat. Quin et Inguiomenim, 
tota volitantem acie, fortuna magis quam virtus 
deserebat. Et Germanicus, quo magis adgnoscere- 
tur, detraxerat tegimen capiti orabatque insisterent 
caedibus : nil opus captivis, solam internicionem 
gentis finem bello fore. lamque sero diei subducit 
ex acie legionem faciendis castris : ceterae ad noc- 
tem cruore hostium satiatae sunt. Equites ambigue 
certavere. 

XXII. Laudatis pro contione victoribus Caesar 
congeriem armorum struxit, superbo cum titulo : 
debellatis inter Rhenum Albimque nationibus ex- 
ercitum Tiberii Caesaris ea monimenta ^ Marti et 
lovi et Augusto sacravisse. De se nihil addidit, 
metu invidiae an ratus conscientiam facti ^ satis esse. 
Mox bellum in Angrivarios^ Stertinio mandat, ni 
deditionem properavissent. Atque illi supplices nihil 
abnuendo veniam omnium accepere. 

XXIII. Sed aestate iam adulta legionum aliae 
itinere terrestri in hibernacula remissae ; pluris 
Caesar classi inpositas per flumen Amisiam Oceano 
invexit. Ac primo placidum aequor mille navium 
velis strepere aut remis * inpelli : mox atro nubium 

^ monimenta Lipsius : munimenta. 

2 facti Aldus : factis. 

^ Angrivarios] Ampsivarios Giefers. 

* velis . . . remis Jackson : remis . . . velis. 

^ In order to complete the suppression of the revolt 
mentioned at the close of chap. 8 : the same doubt as to tlio 
reading exists, of course, here. 

' The period -would be July. The summer, like the other 
seasons, was divided into three months : in the fiist, it was 

414 



BOOK II. xxi.-xxm, 

the hampering effects of his recent wound. Inguio- 
merus, moreover, as he flew over the battle-field, 
found himself deserted less by his courage than by 
fortune. Germanicus, also, to make recognition 
the easier had torn off his headpiece and was adjuring 
his men to press on with the carnage: — " Prisoners 
were needless : nothing but the extermination of the 
race would end the war." — At last, in the decline of 
day, he M-ithdrew one legion from the front to begin 
work on the camp ; while the others satiated them- 
selves with the enemies' blood till night. The 
cavalry engagement was indecisive. 

XXII. First eulogizing the \ictors in an address, 
the Caesar raised a pile of weapons, \\-ith a legend 
boasting that " the army of Tiberius Caesar, after 
subduing the nations between the Rhine and the 
Elbe, had consecrated that memorial to Mars, to 
Jupiter, and to Augustus." Concerning himself he 
added nothing, either apprehending jealousy or 
holding the consciousness of his exploit to be enough. 
Shortly afterwards he commissioned Stertinius to 
open hostihties against the Angrivarii,^ unless they 
forestalled him by surrender. And they did, in 
fact, come to their knees, refusing nothing, and were 
forgiven all. 

XXIII. However, as summer was already at the 
full, 2 a part of the legions were sent back to winter 
quarters by the land route : the majority were put 
on shipboard by the prince, who took them down the 
Ems into the North Sea. At first it was a tranquil 
expanse, troubled only by the sound and impulse 
of the sails and oars of a thousand ships. But soon 

nota ; in the second, adulta ; in the third, praeceps (Senrios 
on Georg. I. 43). 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

globo effusa grando, simul variis undique procellis 
incerti fluctus prospectum adimere, regimen inpe- 
dire ; milesque pavidus et casuum maris ignarus, 
dum turbat nautas vel intempestive iuvat, officia 
prudentium corrumpebat. Orane dehinc caelum et 
mare omne in austrum cessit, qui tumidis ^ Germaniae 
terris, profundis amnibus, immenso nubium tractu 
validus et rigore vicini septentrionis horridior rapuit 
disieeitque navis in aperta Oceani aut insulas saxis 
abruptis vel per occulta vada infestas. Quibus 
paulum aegreque vitatis, postquam mutabat aestus 
eodemque quo ventus ferebat, non adhaerere ancoris, 
non exhaurire inrumpentis undas poterant : equi, 
iumenta, sarcinae, etiam arma praecipitantur quo 
levarentur alvei manantes per latera et fluctu super- 
urgente. 

XXIV. Quanto violentior cetero mari Oceanus 
et truculentia caeli praestat Germania, tantum ilia 
clades novitate et magnitudine excessit, hostilibus 
circum litoribus aut ita vasto et profundo ut credatur 
novissimum ac sine terris mare. Pars navium haus- 
tae sunt, plures apud insulas longius sitas eiectae ; 
railesque nullo iilic homimmi cultu fame absumptus, 
nisi quos corpora equorum eodem elisa tolerave- 
rant. Sola Germanici triremis Chaucorimi terram 
adpulit ; quem per omnis illos dies noctesque apud 
^ tumidis] humidis Rhenanus. 

^ The underlying theory is that the sodden lands and the 
rivers form the clouds by evaporation; the clouds, in their 
turn, give rise to the wind (Sen. Q.N. V. 5 ; ib. 13). 

2 Between the Weser and Holland : the saoca abrupta, 
like the Scopuli of the next chapter, can be only a mistaken 
iterary embellishment. 

^ The open ocean as opposed to land-locked seas. 

* Presumably off the coast of Schleswig. 
416 



BOOK II. xxiii.-xxiv. 

the hail poured from a black mass of clouds, and 
simultaneously the waves, louffeted by conflicting 
gales from every quarter, began to blot out the vieAv 
and impede the steering. The soldiers — struck by 
alarm, and unfamiliar with the sea and its hazards^ — • 
nulhtied by their obstruction or mistimed help the 
services of the professional sailors. Then all heaven, 
all ocean, passed into the power of the south wind ; 
which, drawing its strength from the sodden lands 
of Gennany, the deep rivers, the endless train of 
clouds,^ with its grimness enhanced by the rigour 
of the neighboming north, caught and scattered the 
vessels to the open ocean or to islands ^ either beetling 
viith crags or perilous from sunken shoals. These 
were avoided with time and difficulty ; but, when the 
tide began to change and set in the same direction 
as the wind, it was impossible either to hold anchor 
or to bale out the inrushing flood. Chargers, pack- 
horses, baggage, even arms, were jettisoned, in order 
to lighten the hulls, which were leaking through the 
sides and overtopped by the waves. 

XXR'. Precisely as Ocean ' is more tempestuous 
than the remaining sea, and Germany unequalled 
in the asperity of its climate, so did that calamity 
transcend others in extent and novelty — around them 
lying hostile shores or a tract so vast and profound 
that it is believed the last and landless deep. Some 
of the ships went dovvn; more were stranded on 
remote islands ; * where, in the absence of human life, 
the troops died of starvation, except for a few who 
supported themselves on the dead horses washed 
up on the same beach. Germanicus' galley put in 
to the Chaucian coast alone. Throughout all those 
days and nights, posted on some cliff or projection 

417 

VOL. II. ^ E E 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

scopulos et prominentis oras, cum se tanti exitii 
reum clamitaret, vix cohibuere amici quo minus 
eodem mari oppeteret. Tandem relabente aestu 
et secundante vento claudae naves raro remigio 
aut intentis vestibus, et quaedam a validioribus 
tractae, revertere ; quas raptim refectas misit ut 
scrutarentur insulas. Collect! ea cura plerique : 
multos Angrivarii nuper in fidem accepti redemptos 
ab interioribus reddidere ; quidam in Britanniam 
rapti et remissi a regulis. Vt quis ex longinquo 
revenerat, miracula narrabant, vim turbinum et 
inauditas volucris, monstra maris, ambiguas homi- 
num et beluarum formas, visa sive ex metu credita. 

XXV. Sed fama classis amissae ut Germanos ad 
spem belli, ita Caesarem ad coercendum erexit. 
C. Silio cum triginta peditum, tribus equitum mili- 
bus ire in Chattos imperat ; ipse maioribus copiis 
Marsos inrumpit, quorum dux Mallovendus nuper 
in deditionem acceptus propinquo luco ^ defossam 
Varianae legionis aquilam modico praesidio servari 
indicat. Missa extemplo manus quae hostem a 
fronte eliceret, alii qui terga circumgressi reclude- 
rent humum ; et utrisque adfuit fortuna. Eo promp- 
tior Caesar pergit introrsus, populatur, excindit 
non ausum congredi hostem aut, sicubi restiterat, 

^ luco Lipsius : loco. 

^ The influence of Pedo Albinovanus' poem (see p. 345, n.) 
has been plausibly suspected in more places than one of this 
narrative. 

418 



BOOK II. xxiv.-xxv. 

of the shore, he continued to exclaim that he was 
guilty of the great disaster; and his friends with 
difficulty prevented him from finding a grave in the 
same waters. At length, A\ith the turning tide and 
a following vrind, the crippled vessels began to come 
in, some with a few oars left, others with clothing 
hoisted for canvas, and a few of the weaker in tow. 
They were instantly refitted and sent out to examine 
the islands. By that act of forethought a large 
number of men were gathered in, while many were 
restored by our new subjects, the Angrivarians, 
who had ransomed them from the interior. A few 
had been swept over to Britain, and were sent back 
by the petty kings. Not a man returned from the 
distance without his tale of marvels — furious whirl- 
winds, unheard-of birds, enigmatic shapes half- 
human and half-bestial •. 1 things seen, or things 
believed in a moment of terror. 

XXV. But though the rumoured loss of the fleet 
inspired the Germans to hope for war, it also inspired 
the Caesar to hold them in check. Gains Sihus he 
ordered to take the field against the Chatti -with 
thirty thousand foot and three thousand horse : he 
himself with a larger force invaded the Marsi ; whose 
chieftain, Mallovendu';, had lately given in his sub- 
mission, and now intimated that the eagle of one of 
Varus' legions was buried in an adjacent grove, with 
only a slender detachment on guard. One com- 
pany was despatched immediately to draw the enemy 
bv manceu\Ting on his front ; another, to work round 
the rear and excavate. Both were attended by 
good fortune ; and the Caesar pushed on to the 
interior with all the more energy, ravaging and 
destroying an enemy who either dared not engage 

419 
ke2 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

statim pulsum nee umquam magis, ut ex captivis 
cognitum est, paventem. Quippe invictos et nullis 
casibus superabilis Romanos praedicabant, qui per- 
dita classe, amissis armis, post constrata equorum 
virorumque corporibus litora eadem virtute, pari 
ferocia et velut aucto numero inrupissent. 

XXVI. Reductus inde in hiberna ^ miles, laetus 
animi quod adversa maris expeditione prospera 
pensavisset. Addidit munificentiam Caesar, quan- 
tum quis damni professus erat exsolvendo. Nee 
dubium habebatur labare hostis petendaeque pacis 
consilia sumere et, si proxima aestas adiceretur, posse 
bellum patrari. Sed crebris epistulis Tiberius mone- 
bat rediret ad decretum triumphum : satis iam 
eventuimi, satis casuimi. Prospera illi et magna 
proelia : eorimi quoque meminisset, quae venti et 
fluctus, nulla ducis culpa, gravia tamen et saeva 
damna intulissent. Se novies a divo Augusto in 
Germaniam missmn plura consilio quam vi perfecisse : 
sic Sugambros in deditionem acceptos, sic Suebos 
regemque Maroboduum pace obstrictum. Posse et 
Cheruscos ceterasque rebellium gentis, quoniam 
Romanae ultioni consultum esset,^ internis discor- 
diis relinqui. Precante Germanico annum efficiendis 

1 hibema Beroaldus : hiona. ^ esset Muretua : est. 



J^ The verdict of history upon these campaigns must, however 
coincide with that of Tiberius. 

420 



BOOK II. xxv.-xxvi. 

or was immediately routed wherever he tm*ned to 
bay. It was gathered from the prisoners that the 
Germans had never been more completely demoral- 
ized. Their cry was that " the Romans were 
invincible — proof against everj"^ disaster ! They had 
wrecked their fleet, lost their arms ; the shores had 
been littered M-ith the bodies of horses and men; 
yet they had broken in again, \yith the same courage, 
with equal fierceness, and apparently with increased 
numbers ! " 

XXVI. The army was then marched back to 
\\'inter quarters, elated at ha%'ing balanced the 
maritime disaster by this fortunate expedition. 
Moreover, there was the liberality of the Caesar, 
who compensated every claimant in full for the loss 
he professed to have sustained. Nor was any doubt 
felt that the enemy was wavering and discussing an 
application for peace ; and that with another effort 
in the coming summer, the war might see its close.^ 
But frequent letters from Tiberius counselled the 
prince "to return for the triumph decreed him: 
there had been already enough successes, and 
enough mischances. He had fought auspicious and 
great fields : he should also remember the losses 
inflicted by ^^'ind and wave — ^losses not in any way 
due to his leadership, yet grave and deplorable. He 
himself had been sent nine times into Germany by 
the deified Augustus ; and he had effected more by 
policy than by force. Policy had procured the 
Sugambrian surrender ; pohcy had bound the Suebi 
and King Maroboduus to keep the peace. The 
Cherusci and the other rebel tribes, now that enough 
had been done for Roman vengeance, might similarly 
be left to their intestine strife." When Germanicus 

421 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

coeptis, acrius modestiam eius adgreditur alterum 
consulatum ofFerendo cuius munia praesens obiret. 
Simul adnectebat, si foret adhuc bellandum, relin- 
queret materiem Drusi fratris gloriae, qui nuUo 
turn alio hoste non nisi apud Germanias adsequi 
nomen imperatorium et deportare lauream posset. 
Haud cunctatus est ultra Germanicus, quamquam 
fingi ea seque per invidiam parto iam decori abstrahi 
intellegeret. 

XXVII. Sub idem tempus e familia Scriboniorum 
Libo Drusus defertur moliri res novas. Eius 
negotii initium, ordinem, finera curatius disseram, 
quia turn primum reperta sunt quae per tot annos 
rem publicam exedere. Firmius Catus senator, 
ex intima Libonis amicitia, iuvenem inprovidum 
et facilem inanibus ad Chaldaeorum promissa, 
magorum sacra, somniorum etiam interpretes impu- 
lit, dum proavum Pompeium, amitam Sci'iboniam, 
quae quondam Augusti coniunx fuerat, consobrinos 
Caesares,^ plenam imaginibus domum ostentat, 
hortaturque ad luxum et aes alienum, socius libidi- 
num et necessitatum, quo pluribus indiciis inligaret. 

XXVIII. Vt satis testium et qui servi eadem 
noscerent repperit, aditum ad principem postulat, 

* consobrinos Caesares BeroaMus : consobriniis caesaris. 

^ Seneca's epigram {Epp. 70, 10) deserves quotation : — 
AdiUescens tarn stolidus quam ndbilis, maiora speram^ q^iam iUo 
saecnlo quisquam sperare poferat ant ipse ullo. 

422 



BOOK II. XXVI. -XXVIII. 

asked for one year more in which to finish his work, 
he delivered a still shrewder attack on his modesty, 
and offered him a second consulate, the duties of 
which he would assume in person. A hint was 
appended that " if the war must be continued, he 
might leave his brother, Drusus, the matei'ial for a 
reputation ; since at present there was no other 
national enemy, and nowhere but in the Gerrnanies 
could he acquire the style of Imperator and a title 
to the triumphal bays." — Geraianicus hesitated no 
longer, though he was aware that these civilities 
were a fiction, and that jealousy was the motive 
which -withdrew him from a glory already within his 
grasp. 

XX\'II. Nearly at the same time, a charge of 
revolutionary acti\ities was laid against Libo Drusus,*^ 
a member of the Scribonian family. I shall describe 
in some detail the origin, the progress, and the end 
of this affair, as it marked the discovery of the 
system destined for so many yeai's to prey upon the 
vitals of the commonwealth. Firmius Catus, a 
senator, and one of Libo's closest friends, had urged 
that short-sighted youth, who had a foible for absurdi- 
ties, to resort to the forecasts of astrologers, the 
ritual of magicians, and the society of interpreters 
of dreams ; pointing to his great-grandfather Pompey, 
to his great-aunt Scribonia (at one time the consort 
of Augustus), to his cousinship with the Caesars, and 
to his mansion crowded with ancestral portraits ; 
encouraging him in his luxuries and loans ; and, to 
bind him in a yet stronger chain of evidence, sharing 
his debaucheries and his embarrassments. 

XXVIII. When he had found witnesses enough, 
and slaves to testify in the «;amo tenor, he asked for 

423 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

demonstrato crimine et reo per Flaccum Vesculari'un 
equitem Romanum, cui propior cum Tiberio usus 
erat. Caesar indicium baud aspernatus congressus 
abnuit: posse enim eodem Flacco internuntio ser- 
mones commeare. Atque interim Libonem omat 
praetura, convictibus adhibet, non vultu alienatus, 
non verbis commotior (adeo irara condiderat); 
cunctaque eius dicta factaque, cum prohibere posset, 
scire malebat, donee Junius quidam, temptatus ut 
infernas umbras carminibus eliceret, ad Fulcinium 
Trionem indicivun detulit. Celebre inter accusatores 
Trionis ingenium erat avidumque famae malae. 
Statim corripit reum, adit consules, cognitionem 
senatus poscit. Et vocantur patres, addito consul- 
tandmn super re magna et atroci. 

XXIX. Libo interim veste mutata cum primo- 
ribus feminis circumire domos, orare adfinis, vocem 
adversum pei-icula poscere, abnuentibus cunctis, 
cum diversa praetenderent, eadem formidine. Die 
senatus metu et aegritudine fessus, sive, ut tradidere 
quidam, simulate morbo, lectica delatus ad foris 
curiae innisusque fratri et manus ac supplices voces 



1 See VI. 10. 

* In order to question them as to the future. An interesting 
account of the procedure may be found in Heliodorus, Aeth. 
VI. sub fin. 

424 



BOOK II. xxviii.-xxix. 

an inteniew with the sovereign, to whom the charge 
and the person implicated had been notified by 
Vescularius Flaccus,^ a Roman knight on famiUar 
terms \\-ith Tiberius. The Caesar, ^rithout rejecting 
the information, declined a meeting, as " their con- 
versations might be carried on through the same 
intermediary, Flaocus." In the interval, he dis- 
tinguished Libo with a praetorship and several 
invitations to dinner. There was no estrangement 
on his brow, no hint of asperity in his speech : he 
had buried his anger far too deep. He could have 
checked every word and action of Libo : he preferred, 
however, to know them. At length, a certain Junius, 
solicited by Libo to raise departed spirits by incanta- 
tion,2 carried his tale to FulciniusTrio.* Trio's genius, 
which was famous among the professional informers, 
hungered after notoriety. He swooped immediately 
on the accused, approached the consuls, and de- 
manded a senatorial inquiry. The Fathers were 
summoned, to dehberate (it was added) on a case of 
equal importance and atrocity. 

XXIX. Meanwhile, Libo changed into mourning, 
and with an escort of ladies of quality made a circuit 
from house to house, pleading with his wife's relatives, 
and conjuring them to speak in mitigation of his 
danger, — only to be everywhere refused on different 
pretexts and identical grounds of alarm. On the 
day the senate met, he was so exhausted by fear and 
distress — unless, as some accounts have it, he 
counterfeited illness — that he was borne to the doors 
of the Curia in a litter, and, leaning on his brother, 

xtended his hands and his appeals to Tiberius, by 

^ His subsequent career mav be traced from III. 9 and 19; 
V. 11; VI. 4 and 38. 

425 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

ad Tiberium tendens immoto eius vultu excipitur. 
Mox libellos et auctores recitat Caesar ita moderans 
ne lenire neve asperare ^ crimina videretur. 

XXX. Accesserant praeter Trionem et Catum 
accusatores Fonteius Agrippa et C. Vibius,^ certa- 
bantque cui ius perorandi in reum daretur, donee 
Vibius, quia nee ipsi inter se concederent et Libo 
sine patrono introisset, singillatim se crimina obiec- 
turum professus, protulit libellos vaecordes adeo 
ut consultaverit Libo an habiturus foret opes quis 
viam Appiam Brundisium usque pecunia operiret. 
Inerant et alia huiusce modi stolida, vana, si mollius 
acciperes, miseranda. Vno tamen libello manu 
Libonis nominibus Caesarum aut senatorum additas 
atrocis vel occultas notas accusator arguebat. Ne- 
gante reo adgnoscentis servos per tormenta interro- 
gari ^ placuit. Et quia vetere senatus consulto 
quaestio in caput domini prohibebatur, callidus et 
novi iui'is repertor Tiberius mancipari singulos actori 
publico iubet, scilicet ut in Libonem ex servis salvo 
senatus consulto quaereretur. Ob quae posterum 
diem reus petivit domumque digressus extremas 
preces P. Quirinio propinquo suo ad principem man- 
davit. 

1 asperare Beroaldus : asperari. 

2 Vibius Gruter ut infra : livius. 

^ interrogari Lipsius : interrogarc. 

1 So that Libo coiild answer each immediately, and n o 
continuous speech would be needed on either side. 
^ Otherwise their testimony was not admissible. 

426 



BOOK II. xxix.-xxx. 

whom he was received without the least change of 
countenance. The emperor then read over the 
indictment and the names of the sponsors, with a 
self-restraint that avoided the appearance of either 
palliating or aggravating the charges. 

XXX. Besides Trio and Catus, Fonteius Agrippa 
and Gains \'ibius had associated themselves with 
the prosecution, and it was disputed which of the 
four should have the right of stating the case against 
the defendant. Finally, Vibius announced that, as 
no one would give way and Libo was appearing 
without legal representation, he would take the 
counts one by one.^ He produced Libo's papers, 
so fatuous that, according to one, he had inquired 
of his prophets if he would be rich enough to cover 
the Appian Road as far as Brundisium >\'ith money. 
There was more in the same vein, stolid, vacuous, 
or, if indulgently read, pitiable. In one paper, 
however, the accuser argued, a set of mai'ks, sinister 
or at least mysterious, had been appended by Libo's 
hand to the names of the imperial family and a 
number of senators. As the defendant denied the 
allegation, it was resolved to question the slaves, 
who recognized the hand\\Titing, under torture •? and, 
since an old decree prohibited their examination in a 
charge affecting the life of their master, Tiberius, 
applying his talents to the discovery of a new juris- 
prudence, ordered them to be sold individually to 
tlie treasury agent : all to procure servile evidence 
against a Libo, without overriding a senatorial 
decree ! In view of this, the accused asked for an 
adjournment till next day, and left for home, after 
commissioning his relative, Publius Quirinius, to 
make a final appeal to the emperor. 

4-/ 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

XXXI. Responsum est ut senatum rogaret. Cingc- 
batur interim milite domus, strepebant etiam in 
vestibulo ut audiri, ut aspici possent, cum Libo, 
ipsis quas in novissimam voluptatem adhibuerat 
epulis excruciatus, vocare percussorem, prensare 
servorum dextras, inserere gladium. Atque illis, 
dum trepidant, dum refugiunt, evertentibus adpo- 
situm cum mensa lumen, feralibus iam sibi tenebris 
duos ictus in viscera derexit. Ad gemitum conla- 
bentis adcurrere liberti, et caede visa miles abstitit. 
Accusatio tamen apud patres adseveratione eadem 
peracta, iuravitque Tiberius petiturum se vitam 
quamvis nocenti, nisi voluntariam mortem prope- 
ravisset. 

XXXII. Bona inter accusatores dividuntur, et 
praeturae extra ordinem datae iis qui senatorii 
ordinis erant. Tunc Cotta Messalinus, ne imago 
Libonis exequias posterorum comitaretur, censuit, 
Cn. Lentulus, ne quis Scribonius cognomentum 
Drusi adsumeret. Supplicationum dies Pomponii 
Flacci sententia constituti, dona lovi, Marti, Con- 
cordiae, utque iduum Septembrium dies, quo se 
Libo interfecerat, dies festus haberetur, L. Piso 
et Gallus Asinius et Papius Mutilus et L. Apronius 
decrevere ; quorum auctoritates adulationesque ret- 
tuli ut sciretur vetus id in re publica malum. Facta 

^ A professional whose hand would be steadier than his own. 
So Nero Spiculum murmillonem vel quendibet percussorem, 
cuius manu periret, reqiiisivit (Suet. Ner, 47). 
428 



BOOK II. XXXI -XXXII, 

XXXI. The reply ran, that he must address his 
petitions to the senate. Meanwhile, liis house was 
picketed by soldiers; they were tramping in the 
portico itself, ^vithin eyeshot and earshot, when Libo, 
thus tortured at the very feast which he had arranged 
to be his last delight on earth, called out for a 
slayer,^ clutched at the liands of his slaves, strove 
to force his sword upon them. They, as they shrank 
back in confusion, overturned lamp and table to- 
gether ; and he, in what was now for him the dark- 
ness of death, struck two blows into his vitals. He 
collapsed with a moan, and his fireedmen ran up : the 
soldiers had >vitnessed the bloody scene, and retired. 

In the senate, however, the prosecution was carried 
through with unaltered gravity, and Tiberius declared 
on oath that, guilty as the defendant might have 
been, he would have interceded for his life, had he 
not laid an over-hasty hand upon himself. 

XXXII. His estate was parcelled out among the 
accusers, and extraordinary praetorships were con- 
ferred on those of senatorial status. Cotta Messalinus 
then moved that the ef^gy of Libo should not ac- 
company the funeral processions of his descendants ; 
Gnaeus Lentulus, that no member of the Scribonian 
house should adopt the surname of Driisus. Days 
of pubUc thanksgi\"ing were fixed at the instance 
of Pomponius Flaccus. Lucius Piso, Asinius Gallus, 
Papius Mutilus, and Lucius Apronius procured a 
decree that votive offerings should be made to 
Jupiter, Mars, and Concord ; and that the thirteenth 
of September, the anniversary of Libo's suicide, 
should rank as a festival. This union of sounding 
names and sycophancy I have recorded as showing 
how long that e\il has been rooted in the State. — 

429 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

et de mathematicis magisque Italia pellendis 
senatus consulta ; quorum e numero L. Pituanius saxo 
delectus est, in P. Marcium consules extra portam 
Esquilinam, cum classicum canere iussissent, more 
prisco advertere. 

XXXIII. Proximo senatus die mult^ in luxum 
civitatis dicta a Q. Haterio consulari, Octavio P'ron- 
tone praetura functo ; decretumque ne vasa auro 
solida ministrandis cibis' fierent, ne vestis serica 
viros foedaret. Excessit Fronto ac postulavit modum 
argento, supellectili, familiae : erat quippe adhuc 
frequens senatoribus, si quid e re publica crede- 
rent, loco sententiae promere. Contra Gallus 
Asinius disseruit : auctu imperii adolevisse etiam 
privatas opes, idque non novum, sed e vetustissimis 
moribus : aliam apud Fabricios, aliam apud Sci- 
piones pecuniam ; et cuncta ad rem publicam referri, 
qua tenui angustas civium domos, postquam eo 
magnificentiae venerit, gliscere singulos. Neque 
in familia et argento quaequc ad usum parentur 
nimium aliquid aut modicum nisi ex fortuna possi- 
dentis. Distinctos senatus et equitum census, non 

^ Genus hominum potentibus infidum, speraniibua faUax, 
quod in civitate nostra et vetahitur semper et retinebitur (Hist. I. 
22). For another decree — atrox et inritum — see XII. 52; for 
Tiberius' interest La the art, and Tacitus' verdict upon it, 
VI. 20 sqq. ; and for a large collection of literary and liistorical 
references, Mayor on Juv. XIV. 248. 

430 



BOOK II. X.VXII.-XXXIII. 

Other resolutions of the senate ordered the expulsion 
of the astrologers^ and magic-mongers from Italy. 
One of their number, Lucius Pituanius, was flung 
from the Rock; another — Publius Marcius — was 
executed by the consuls outside the Esquiline Gate 
according to ancient usage ^ and at sound of trumpet. 
XXXIII. At the next session, the ex-consul, 
Quintus Haterius,^ and Octavius Fronto, a former 
praetor, spoke at length against the national extrava- 
gance ; and it was resolved that table-plate * should 
not be manufactured in solid gold, and that Oriental 
silks should no longer degrade the male sex. Fronto 
went further, and pressed for a statutory limit to 
silver, furniture, and domestics : for it was still 
usual for a member to precede his vote by mooting 
any point which he considered to be in the public 
interest. Asinius Gallus opposed : — " With the 
expansion of the empire, private fortunes had also 
grown ; nor was this new, but consonant with 
extremely ancient custom. Wealth was one thing 
with the Fabricii, another with the Scipios; and all 
was relative to the state. When the state was poor, 
you had frugality and cottages : when it attained a 
pitch q£ splendour such as the present, the individual 
also throve. In slaves or plate or anything pro- 
cured for use there was neither excess nor modera- 
tion except with reference to the means of the 
owner. Senators and knights had a special property 

' The procedure, unknown to Nero (Suet. Ner, 49) and rare 
enough to be an interesting spectacle to the antiquarian 
Claudius {Claud. 34), was decapitation. 

' The famous and now aged orator: see I. 13, III. 57, and 
the short notice in IV. 61. 

* As distinct from vessels consecrated to religious uses. 

431 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

quia diversi natura, sed ut sicut^ locis, ordinibus, 
dignationibus antistent, ita iis ^ quae ad requiem 
animi aut salubritatem corporum parentur, nisi forte 
clarissimo cuique pluris curas, maiora pericula sube- 
unda, delenimentis curarum et periculorum carendum 
esse. Facilera adsensum Gallo sub nominibus 
lionestis confessio vitiorum et similitudo audientium 
dedit. Adiecerat et Tiberius non id tempus censurae 
neCj si quid in moribus labaret, defuturum corrigendi 
auctorem. 

XXXIV. Inter quae L. Piso ambitum fori, cor- 
rupta indicia, saevitiam oratorum accusationes 
minitantiuni increpans, abire se et cedere urbe, 
victurum in aliquo abdito et longinquo rure testaba- 
tur; simul curiam relinquebat. Commotus est 
Tiberius, et quamquam mitibus verbis Pisonem 
permulsisset, propinquos quoque eius impulit ut 
abeuntem auctoritate vel precibus tenerent. Hand 
minus liberi doloris documentum idem Piso mox dedit 
vocata in ius Vrgulania, quam supra leges amicitia 
Augustae extulerat. Nee aut Vrgulania obtempera- 
vit, in domum Caesaris spreto Pisone vecta, aut ille 
abscessit, quamquam Augusta se violari et immi- 
nui quereretur. Tiberius hactenus indulgere matri 

^ ut sicut Urlichs : ut. * ita iis Ruperti : talis. 



^ The former, one million sesterces ; the latter, four hundred 
thousand. 



BOOK II. xxxiii.-xxxiv. 

qualification/ not becaxise they differed in kind from 
their fellow-men, but in order that those who enjoyed 
precedence in place, rank, and dignity should enjoy 
it also in the easements that make for mental peace 
and physical well-being. And justly so — unless your 
distinguished men, while saddled with more responsi- 
bilities and greater dangers, were to be deprived 
of the relaxations compensating those responsi- 
bilities and those dangers." — With his virtuously 
phrased confession of \ice. Callus easily carried with 
him that audience of congenial spirits. Tiberius, 
too, had added that it was not the time for a censor- 
ship, and that, if there was any loosening of the 
national morality, a reformer would be forthcoming. 
XXXIV. During the debate, Lucius Piso, in a 
diatribe against the intrigues of the Forum, the 
corruption of the judges, and the tyraimy of the 
advocates with their perpetual threats of prosecution, 
announced his retirement — he was migrating from 
the capital, and would Uve his life in some sequestered, 
far-away country nook. At the same time, he 
started to leave the Curia. Tiberius was pertiu-bed; 
and, not content with having molhfied him by a 
gentle remonstrance, induced his relatives also to 
withhold him from departure by their influence or 
their prayers. — It was not long before the same Piso 
gave an equally striking proof of the independence 
of his temper by obtaining a summons against 
Urgulania, whose friendship with the ex-empress had 
raised her above the law, Urgulania dechned to 
obey, and, ignoring Piso, drove to the imperial 
residence : her antagonist, hkewise, stood his ground, 
in spite of Li\-ia's complaint that his act Avas an 
outrage and humiHation to herself. Tiberius, who 

433 

VOL. II. F F 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

civile ratus, ut se iturum ad praetoris tribunal, 
adfuturum Vrgulaniae diceret, processit Palatio, 
procul sequi iussis militibus. Spectabatur oecur- 
sante populo compositus ore et sermonibus variis 
temp us atque iter ducens, donee, propinquis Piso- 
nera frustra coercentibus, deferri Augusta pecuniara 
quae petebatur iuberet. Isque finis rei, ex qua neque 
Piso inglorius et Caesar maiore fama fuit. Ceterum 
Vrgulaniae potentia adeo nimia civitati erat ut testis 
in causa quadam, quae apud senatum tractabatur, 
venire dedignaretur : missus est praetor qui domi in- 
terrogaret, cum virgines Vestales in foro et iudicio 
audiri, quotiens testimonium dicerent, vetus mos 
fuerit. 

XXXV. Res eo anno prolatas baud referrem, ni 
pretium foret Cn. Pisonis et Asinii Galli super eo 
negotio diversas sententias noscere. Piso, quam- 
quam afuturum se dixerat Caesar, ob id magis agen- 
das censebat, ut absente principe senatum et equites 
posse sua munia sustinere decorum rei publicae 
foret. Gallus, quia speciem libertatis Piso prae- 
ceperat, nihil satis inlustre aut ex dignitate populi 
Romani nisi coram et sub oculis Caesaris, eoque 



^ The vacation of the senate and law-courts. In this case, 
the embarrassing point was that, if the vacation was arranged 
to coincide with the absence of the emperor, it would coincide 
also with the presence in the capital of a multitude of Italians 
and provincials with important legal business, public or private, 
to transact. 

434 



BOOK II. x.v\iv.-x\xv. 

reflected that it would be no abuse of his position 
to indulge his mother up to the point of promisinjr 
to appear at the praetorian court and lend his support 
to Urgulania, set out from the palace, ordering his 
guards to follow at a distance. iTie people, flocking 
to the sight, watched him while with great composure 
of countenance he protracted the time and the 
journey by talking on a variety of topics, until, 
as his relatives failed to control Piso, Li\-ia gave 
orders for the suni in demand to be paid. This 
closed an incident of which Piso had some reason to 
be proud, while at the same time it added to the 
emperor's reputation. For the rest, the influence 
of Urgulania lay so heavv on the state that, in one 
case on trial before the senate, she disdained to 
appear as a witness, and a praetor was sent to 
examine her at home, although the established 
custom has always been for the \'estal ^'irgins, when 
giving evidence, to be heard in the Forum and courts 
of justice. 

XXXV, Of this year's adjournment ^ I should say 
nothing, were it not worth while to note the 
divergent opinion'- of Gnaeus Piso and Asinius Gallus 
on the subject. Piso, although the emperor had 
intimated that he would not be present, regarded it 
as a further reason why public business should go 
forward, so that the ability of the senators and 
knights to carry out their proper duties in the 
absence of the sovereign might redound to the credit 
of the state. Forestalled by Piso in this show of 
independence, Gallus objected that business, not 
transacted under the immediate eye of their prince, 
lacked distinction and fell short of the dignity of 
the Roman people ; and for that reason the concourse 

435 

FF 2 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

conventum Italiae et adfluentis provincias prae- 
sentiae eius servanda dicebat. Audiente haec Tiberio 
ac silente magnis utrimque contentionibus acta, sed 
res dilatae. 

XXXVI. Et certamen Gallo adversus Caesarem 
exortum est. Nam censuit in quinquenniiun magis- 
tratuum comitia habenda, utque legionum legati, 
qui ante praeturam ea militia fungebantm-, iam 
turn pi'aetores destinarentur, prineeps duodecim 
candidates in annos singulos nominaret. Hand 
dubium erat earn sententiam altius penetrare et 
arcana imperii temptari. Tiberius tamen, quasi 
augeretur potestas eius, disseruit : grave modera- 
tioni suae tot eligere, tot difFerre. Vix per singulos 
annos offensiones vitari, quamvis repulsam pro- 
]>inqua spes soletur : quantum odii fore ab iis qui 
ultra quinquennium proiciantur? Vnde prospici 
])Osse quae cuique tarn longo teraporis spatio mens, 
domus, fortuna ? Superbire homines etiam annua 
designatione : quid si honorem per quinquennium 
agitent? Quinquiplicari prorsus magistratus, sub- 
verti leges, quae sua spatia exercendae candidatorum 
industriae quaerendisque aut potiundis honoribus 
statuerint. Favorabili in speciem oratione vim 
imperii tenuit. 

^ If the motion were carried, the elections would continue 
to be held annually. At the first, however, all magistracies 
for the next five years would be allotted ; at the second (held 
in the following year) those for the fifth year from that dat« ; 
and so indefinitely. But, if the holders of all magistracies 
were unalterably predetermined for five years, the result must 
obviously be not only to fetter the inclinations of the sovereign 
to an appreciable extent, but to render the prospective officials, 
whose position was secured in advance, considerably less pliant 
than would otherwise have been the case. 

436 



BOOK II. xvxv.-xxxvi. 

of Italy and the influx from the pro\ances ought to be 
reserved for his presence. The debate was conducted 
with much vigour on both sides, while Tiberius 
listened and was mute : the adjournmentj however, 
was carried. 

XXX\'I. Another passage of arms arose between 
Callus and the Caesar. The former moved that the 
elections should determine the magistrates for the 
next five years,^ and that legionary commanders, 
sennng in that capacity before holding the praetor- 
ship, should become praetors designate at once, 
the emperor nominating twelve candidates for each 
year. There was no doubt that the proposal went 
deeper than this, and trespassed on the arcana of 
sovereignty. Tiberius, however, replied by treat- 
ing it as an extension of his own prerogative : — " To his 
moderate temper it was an ungrateful task to mete 
out so many appointments and disappointments. 
Even on the annual system, it was difficult to avoid 
offences, though hope of office in the near future 
softened the rebuff: hoAV much odium must he incur 
from those whom he threw aside for above five vears ! 
And how could it be foreseen what would be the 
frame of mind, the family, the fortune of each over 
so long an internal of time? Men grew arrogant 
enough even in the twelve months after nomination : 
what if they had a whole quinquennium in which to 
play the official? The proposal actually multiplied 
the number of magistrates by five, and subverted 
the laws which had fixed the proper periods for 
exercising the industry of candidates and for sohciting 
or enjoying preferment." With this speech, which 
outwardly had a popular appearance, he kept his 
hold upon the essentials of sovereignty. 

437 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

XXXVII. Censusque quorundam senatorum iuvit. 
Quo magis mirum fuit quod preces Marci Hortali, 
nobilis iuvenis, in paupertate manifesta superbius 
accepisset. Nepos erat oratoris Hortensii, inlectus 
a divo Augusto liberalitate decies sestertii ducere 
uxorem, suscipere liberos, ne clarissima farailia 
extingueretur. Igitur quattuor filiis ante limen 
curiae adstantibus, loco sententiae, cum in Palatio 
senatus haberetur, modo Hortensii inter oratores 
sitam imaginem, modo Augusti intuens, ad hunc 
modum coepit: " Patres conscripti, hos, quorum 
numerum et pueritiam videtis, non sponte sustuli 
sed quia princeps monebat; simul maiores mei 
meruerant ut posteros haberent. Nam ego, qui 
non pecuniam, non studia populi neque eloquentiam, 
gentile domus nostrae bonum, varietate temporum 
accipere vel parare potuissem, satis habebam, si 
tenues res meae nee mihi pudori nee cuiquam oneri 
forent. lussus ab imperatore uxorem duxi. En 
stirps et progenies tot consulum, tot dictatorum. 
Nee ad invidiam ista, sed conciliandae misericor- 
diae refero. Adsequentur florente te, Caesar, quos 
dederis honores : interim Q. Hortensii ^ pronepotes, 
divi Augusti alumnos ab inopia defende." 

1 interim Q. Hortensii Beroaldus : interimq; hortensq. 

* The senatorial census (see I. 75). 

^ In the Latin library of the Palatiiim (Suet. Aug. 29; 
D. Cass. LTII. 1), where the senate was frequently convened 
in the declining years of Augustus. For the portrait- 
medallions of the orators see chap. 83. below. 

' The list, in reality, only includes one dictator, one 
consul, and a consul designate. 

438 



BOOK II. xxxYii. 

XXXMI. In addition, he gave monetary help to 
several senators ; so that it was the more sm-prising 
when he treated the application of the young noble, 
Marcus Hortalus, with a superciliousness uncalled for 
in view of his clearly straitened circumstances. He 
was a grandson of the orator Hortensius : and the 
late Augustus, by the grant of a million sesterces,^ 
had induced him to marry and raise a family, in 
order to save his famous house from extinction. 
With his four sons, then, standing before the thres- 
hold of the Curia, he awaited his turn to speak ; then, 
directing his gaze now to the portrait of Hortensius 
among the orators (the senate was meeting in the 
Palace),^ now to that of Augustus, he opened in the 
following manner: — "Conscript Fathers, these child- 
ren whose number and tender age you see for your- 
selves, became mine not from any wish of my own, but 
because the emperor so advised, and because, at 
the same time, my ancestors had earned the right to 
a posterity. For to me, who in this changed world 
had been able to inherit nothing and acquire nothing, 
— not money, nor popularity, nor eloquence, that 
general birthright of our house, — to me it seemed 
enough if my slender means were neither a disgrace 
to myself nor a burden to my neighbour. At the 
command of the sovereign. I took a wife ; and here 
you behold the stock of so many consuls, the off- 
spring of so many dictators ! ^ I say it, not to awaken 
odium, but to woo compassion. Some day. Caesar, 
under your happy sway, they will wear whatever 
honours you have chosen to bestow : in the mean- 
time, rescue from beggary the great-grandsons of 
Quintus Hortensius, the fosterlings of the deified 
Augustus ! " 

439 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

XXXVIII. Inclinatio senatus incitamentum Ti- 
berio fuit quo promptius adversaretur, his ferme 
verbis usus : "Si quantum pauperum est venire 
hue et liberis suis petere pecunias coeperint, singuli 
numquam exsatiabuntur, res publica deficiet. Nee 
sane ideo a maioribus concessum est egredi aliquan- 
do relationem et quod in commune conducat loco 
sententiae proferre, ut privata negotia et res fami- 
liaris nostras hie augeamus, cum invidia senatus et 
principimi, sive indulserint largitionem sive abnue- 
rint. Non enim preces sunt istud, sed efflagitatio, 
intempestiva quidem et inprovisa, cum aliis de rebus 
convenerint patres, consurgere et numero atque 
aetate liberum suorum urgere modestiam senatus, 
eandem vim in me transmittere ac velut perfringere 
aerarium, quod si ambitione exhauserimus, per scelera 
supplendum erit. Dedit tibi, Hortale, divus Augustus 
pecuniam, sed non conpellatus nee ea lege ut semper 
daretur. Languescet alioqui industria, intendetur 
socordia, si nullus ex se metus aut spes, et securi 
omnes aliena subsidia expectabunt, sibi ignavi, 
nobis graves." Haec atque talia, quamquam cum 
adsensu audita ab iis quibus omnia principum, 
honesta atque inhonesta, laudare mos est, plures 
per silentium aut occultum murmiur excepere. 
Sensitque Tiberius ; et cum paulum reticuisset, 
440 



BOOK II. xxxviii. 

XXXV^III. The senate's inclination to agree incited 
Tiberius to a more instant opposition. His speecli 
in effect ran thus: — " If all the poor of the earth 
begin coming here and soliciting money for their 
children, we shall never satisfy individuals, but we 
shall exhaust the state. And certainly, if our pre- 
decessors ruled that a member, in his turn to speak, 
might occasionally go beyond the terms of the 
motion and bring forward a point in the public 
interest, it was not in order that we should sit here 
to promote our private concerns and personal fortunes, 
while rendering the position of the senate and its 
head equally insidious whether they bestow or with- 
hold their bounty. For this is no petition, but a 
demand — an unseasonable and unexpected demand, 
when a member rises in a session convened for other 
purposes, puts pressure on the kindly feeling of the 
senate by a catalogue of the ages and number of his 
children, brings the same compulsion to bear indi- 
rectly upon myself, and, so to say, carries the Treasury 
by storm; though, if we drain it by favouritism, 
we shall have to refill it bv crime. The deified 
Augustus gave you money, Hortalus ; but not under 
pressure, nor with a pro\iso that it should be given 
always. Otherwise, if a man is to have nothing to 
hope or fear from himself, industrv will languish, 
indolence thrive, and we shall have the whole p>opu- 
lation waiting, without a care in the world, for 
outside relief, incompetent to help itself, and an 
incubus to us." Thece sentences and the like, 
though heard with approval by the habitual eulogists 
of all imperial actions honourable or dishonourable, 
were by most received with silence or a suppressed 
murmur. Tiberius felt the chill, and, after a short 

441 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

Hortalo se respondisse ait : ceterum si patribus 
videretur, daturum liberis eius ducena sestertia 
singulis, qui sexus virilis essent. Egere alii grates : 
siluit Hortalus, pavore an avitae nobilitatis etiam 
inter angustias fortunae retinens. Neque mise- 
ratus est posthae Tiberius, quamvis domus Hor- 
tensii pudendam ad inopiam delaberetur.^ 

XXXIX. Eodem anno mancipii unius audaeia, 
ni mature subventum foret, discordiis armisque 
civilibus rem publicam perculisset. Postumi Agrip- 
pae servus, nomine Clemens, comperto fine Augusti, 
pergere in insulam Planasiam et fraude aut vi 
raptum Agrippam ferre ad exercitus Germanicos 
non servili animo concepit. Ausa eius inpedivit 
tarditas onerariae navis : atque interim patrata ^ 
caede ad maiora et magis praecipitia conversus fura- 
tur cineres vectusque Cosam,^ Etruriae pi-omun- 
turium, ignotis locis sese abdit, donee crinem barbam- 
que promitteret : nam aetate et foi*ma baud dissimili 
in domimmi erat. Tum per idoneos et secreti eius 
socios crebrescit vivere Agrippam, oecultis primum 
sermonibus, ut vetita solent, mox vago rumore 
apud inperitissimi cuiusque pi'omptas auris aut 
rursum apud turbidos eoque nova cupientis. Atque 
ipse adire municipia obscuro diei, neque propalam 

^ delaberetur Ernesti : dilabaretur. 
^ patrata Rhenanus : parata. 
^ Cosam Lipsivs : coram. 



1 See above, I. 3, 5, 6. 

^ In reality, the town at the neck of the promontory Mons 
Argentarius \M. Argentaro), which lay a little to the south- 
east of Planasia [Pinnosn), and a few miles from Tgilitim 
{Giglio). 

443 



BOOK II. x.x\viiT.-.\x.\i\. 

pause, observed that Hortalus had had his answer ; 
but, if the senate thought it pi-oper, he would present 
each of his male children with two hundred thousand 
Sesterces. Others expressed their thanks ; Hortalus 
held his peace : either his nerve failed him, or even 
in these straits of fortune he clung to the traditions 
of his race. Nor in the future did Tiberius repeat 
his charity, though the Hortensian house kept 
sinking deeper into ignominious poverty. 

XXXIX. In the same year, the country, but for 
prompt measures, would have been plunged into 
faction and civil war by the hardihood of a solitary 
serf. Clemens by name, he was the slave of x\grippa 
Posttmius ; ^ but there was nothing servile in the 
imagination which, on the news of Augustus' death, 
conceived the idea of making for the isle of Planasia, 
rescuing Agrippa by fraud or force, and conveying 
him to the armies of Germany. The tardy move- 
ments of a cargo-boat interfered with his venture ; 
and since in the meantime the execution had been 
carried out, he fell back on a more ambitious and 
precarious scheme ; purloined the funeral ashes ; 
and sailing to Cosa,^ a promontory' on the Etrurian 
coast, vanished into hiding until his hair and beard 
should have groA\Ti : for in age and general appear- 
ance he was not unlike his master. Then, through 
fitting agents, partners in his secret, a report that 
Agrippa lived began to circulate ; at first, in whis- 
pered dialogues, as is the way with forbidden news ; 
soon, in a rumour which ran wherever there were 
fools with open ears, or malcontents with the usual 
taste for revolution. He himself took to visiting 
the provincial towns in the dusk of the day. He 
was never to be seen in the open, and never over- 

443 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

aspici neque diutius isdem locis, sed quia Veritas 
visu et mora, falsa festinatione et incertis valescunt, 
relinquebat famam aut praeveniebat. 

XL. Vulgabatur interim per Italiam servatum 
munere deimi Agrippam, credebatur Romae ; iamque 
Ostiam invectum multitudo ingens, iam in urbe 
clandestini coetus celebrabant, cum Tiberium anceps 
cura distrahere, vine militum servum suum coer- 
ceret an inanem credulitatem tempore ipso vanescere 
sineret: modo nihil spernendum, modo non omnia 
metuenda ambiguus pudoris ac metus reputabat. 
Postremo dat negotium Sallustio Crispo. Ille e 
clientibus duos (quidam milites fuisse tradunt) 
deligit atque hortatur, simulata conscientia adeant, 
ofFerant pecuniam, fidem atque pericula poUicean- 
tur. Exequuntur ut iussum erat. Dein speculati 
noctem incustoditam, accepta idonea manu, vinc- 
tum clauso ore in Palatium traxere. Percontanti 
Tiberio quo modo Agrippa factus esset respondisse 
fertur " quo modo tu Caesar." Vt ederet socios subigi 
non potuit. Nee Tiberius poenam eius palam ausus, 
in secreta Palatii parte interfici iussit corpusque 
clam auferri. Et quamquam multi e domo principis 
equitesque ac senatores sustentasse opibus, iuvisse 
consiliis dicerentur, baud quaesitum. 



1 See I. 6 and III. 30. 

- If not per uzorium ambitum el senili adoptione (I. 7), at 
least by methods not more discreditable. 

444 



BOOK II. xxxix.-xL. 

long in one neighbourhood : rather, as truth acquires 
strength by pubHcity and delay, falsehood by haste 
and incertitudes, he either left his story behind him 
or arrived in advance of it. 

XL. Meanwhile, it -was rumoured through Italy 
that Agrippa had been saved by the special grace 
of Heaven : at Rome the rumour was believed. 
Already huge crowds were greeting his arrival in 
Ostia, already there were clandestine receptions in 
the capital itself, when the dilemma began to distract 
Tiberius : — Should he call in the military to suppress 
one of his own slaves, or leave this bubble of credulity 
to vanish with the mere lapse of time? Tossed 
between shame and alarm, he reflected one moment 
that nothing was despicable ; the next, that not 
everything was formidable. At last he handed over 
the affair to Sallustius Crispus,^ who chose two of 
his clients (soldiers according to some accounts) and 
instructed them to approach the pretender in the 
character of accomphces, offer him money, and 
promise fidelity whatever the perils. These orders 
they carried out : then, waiting for a night when 
the impostor was off his guard, they took an adequate 
force and haled him, chained and gagged, to the 
palace. To the inquiry of Tiberius, how he liad 
turned himself into Agrippa, he is said to have 
answered : "As you tm-ned yourself into a Caesar." ^ 
He could not be forced to divulge his confederates. 
Nor did Tiberius hazard a public execution, but 
gave orders for him to be killed in a secret quarter 
of the palace, and the body privately removed : and 
notwithstanding that many of the imperial household, 
as well as knights and senators, were said to have 
given him the support of their wealth and the benefit 
of their advice, no investigation followed. 

445 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

XLI. I'ine anni arcus propter aedem Satunii ob 
recepta sigua cum Vai'o amissa ductu Germanici, 
auspiciis Tiberii, et aedes Fortis Fortunae Tiberim 
iuxta in hortis, quos Caesar dictator popiilo Romano 
legaverat, sacrarium genti luliae effigiesque divo 
Augusto apud Bovillas dicantur. 

C. Caelio L. Pomponio consulibus Germanicus 
Caesar a.d. VH. Kal. lunias triumphavit de Cherus- 
cis Chattisque et Angrivariis quaeque aliae na- 
tiones usque ad Albim colunt. Vecta spolia, captivi, 
simulacra montium, fluminum, proeliorum ; bellum- 
que, quia conficere prohibitus erat, pro confecto 
accipiebatur. Augebat intuentium visus extmia 
ipsius species currusque quinque liberis onustus. 
Sed suberat occulta formido, reputantibus baud 
prosperum in Druso patre eius favorera vulgi, avun- 
culum eiusdem Marcellum flagrantibus plebis stu- 
diis intra iuventam ereptum, brevis et infaustos 
populi Romani amores. 

XLII, Ceterum Tiberius nomine Germanici tre- 
cenos plebi sestertios viritim dedit seque collegam 
consulatui eius destinavit. Nee ideo sincerae cari- 
tatis fidem adsecutus amoliri iuvenem specie hono- 
ris statuit struxitque causas aut forte oblatas arripuit. 

^ In the Forum, near the Golden Slilestone. 
2 See I. 60 and II. 25 : the third was only recovered under 
Claudius (D. Cass. LX. 8). 

^ On the right bank of the Tiber. 

* In Latium, some little distance west of the head of the 
Alban Lake. The long-standing connection of the Julii with 
the town was due to the fact that traditionally it was planted 
from Alba Longa, itself founded by lulus. 

^ This name and C. Caecilius are equally well attested : 
for a possible explanation, see Nipperdey ad loc. 

* Marcellus (half-brother of Germanicus' mother) died at 
the age of twenty (21 B.C.); Drusus at that of thirty (9 B.C.). 
446 -' 



BOOK II. xLi.-xLn. 

XLI. The close of the year saw dedicated an arch 
near the temple of Saturn ^ commemorating the 
recover}', " under the leadership of Germanicus and 
the auspices of Tiberius," of the eagles lost with 
\'arus ; ^ a temple to Fors Fortuna on the Tiber bank, 
in the gardens which the dictator Caesar had be- 
queathed to the nation : * a sanctuary to the Julian 
race, and an effigy to the deity of Augustus, at 
Bovillae.* 

In the consulate of Gains Caelius^ and Lucius A.v.c.79t;= 
Pomponius, Germanicus Caesar, on the twenty- ^^' ^^ 
sixth day of May, celebrated his triumph over the 
Cherusci, the Chatti, the Angrivarii, and the other 
tribes lying west of the Elbe. There was a procession 
of spoils and captives, of mimic mountains, rivers, 
and battles ; and the war, since he had been for- 
bidden to complete it, was assumed to be complete. 
To the spectators the effect was heightened by the 
noble figure of the commander himself, and by the 
five children who loaded his chariot. Yet beneath 
lay an unspoken fear, as men reflected that to his 
father Drusus the favour of the multitude had not 
brought happiness — that Marcellus, his uncle,^ had 
been snatched in youth from the ardent affections 
of the populace — that the loves of the Roman nation 
were fleeting and unblest ! 

XLII. For the rest, Tiberius, in the name of 
Germanicus, made a distribution to the populace of 
three hundred sesterces a man : as his colleague in 
the consulship he nominated himself. All this, 
hoM-ever, won him no credit for genuine affection, 
and he decided to remove the youth under a show 
of honour; some of the pretexts he fabricated, 
others he accepted as chance offered. For fifty 

447 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

Rex Archelaus quinquagesimum annum Cappadocia 
potiebatur, invisus Tiberio quod eum Rhodi agen- 
tem nullo officio coluisset. Nee id Archelaus per 
superbiam oniiserat, sed ab intimis Augusti monitus, 
quia florente Gaio Caesare missoque ad res Orientis 
intuta Tiberii amicitia credebatur. Vt versa Cae- 
sarum subole imperiuna adeptus est, elicit Archelaum 
matris litteris, quae non dissimulatis filii ofFensionibus 
clementiam ofFerebat, si ad precandum ^ veniret. Ille 
ignarus doli vel, si intellegere crederetur, vim 
metuens in urbem properat; exceptusque immiti a 
pi-incipe et mox accusatus in senatu, non ob crimina 
quae fingebantur, sed angore, simul fessus senio et 
quia regibus aequa, nedum infima insolita sunt, finem 
vitae sponte an fato implevit. Regnum in provin- 
ciam redactum est, fructibusque eius levari posse 
centesimae vectigal professus Caesar ducentesimam 
in posterum statuit. Per idem tempus Antiocho 
Commagenorum, Philopatore Cilicum regibus defunc- 
tis turbabantur nationes, plerisque Romanum, aliis 
regiimi imperium cupientibus; et provinciae Suria 

^ precandum] deprecandum Haase. 

* The sentence, to be exact, must be taken as reverting to 
the accession of Tiberius (14 a.d.) : for it was in 36 b.c. that 
Archelaus (grandson and namesake of Sulla's antagonist in 
the Mithridatio War) was presented by Antony with the 
kingdom of Cappadocia ; to which Augustus had subsequently 
added Lesser Armenia and part of Cilicia. 

2 See I. 4. 3 See I. 78. 

* This little kingdom, a remnant of the Seleucian empire, 
lay pent in between Cappadocia on the north, Syria on the 
south, Cilicia on the west, and the Euphrates on the east; 
the capital being Lucian's birthplace, Samosata. The 
country was important only as commanding the passage of the 
Upper Euphrates. 

44S 



BOOK II. xLii. 

years King Archelaus had been in possession of 
Cappadocia ; ^ to Tiberius a hated man, since he had 
offered him none of the usual attentions during his 
stay in Rhodes.^ The omission was due not to 
insolence, but to ad\*ice from the intimates of 
Augustus ; for, as Gaius Caesar was then in his 
heyday and had been despatched to settle affairs 
in the East, the friendship of Tiberius was believed 
unsafe. WTien, through the extinction of the 
Caesarian line, Tiberius attained the empire, he 
lured Archelaus from Cappadocia by a letter of 
his mother; who, without dissembling the resent- 
ment of her son, offered clemency, if he came to 
make his petition. Unsuspicious of treachery', or 
apprehending force, should he be supposed alive to it, 
he hurried to the capital, was received by an unrelent- 
ing sovereign, and shortly afte^^vards was impeached 
in the senate. Broken, not by the charges, which 
were fictitious, but by torturing anxiety, combined 
with the weariness of age and the fact that to 
princes even equality — to say nothing of humilia- 
tion — is an unfamiUar thing, he ended his days 
whether deUberately or in the course of nature. 
His kingdom was converted into a province ; and the 
emperor, announcing that its revenues made feasible 
a reduction of the one per cent, sale-tax,' fixed it for 
the future at one half of this amount. — About the 
same time, the death of the two kings, Antiochus 
of Commagene * and Philopator of Cilicia,^ disturbed 
the peace of their countries, where the majority of 
men desired a Roman governor, and the minority 
a monarch. The pro\inces, too, of Syria and Judaea, 

* Philopator's sovereignty, however, extended only to a 
petty principality in the east of the country. 

449 

VOL. 11. G G 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

atque ludaea, fessae oneribus, deminutionem tributi 
orabant. 

XLIII. Igitur haec et de Armenia quae supra 
memoravi apud patres disseruit, nee posse motum 
Orientem nisi Germanici sapientia conponi : nam 
suam aetatem vergere, Drusi nondum satis adole- 
visse. Tunc deereto patrum permissae Germanico 
provinciae quae mari dividuntur, maiusque impe- 
rium, quoquo adisset, quam iis qui sorte aut missu 
principis obtinerent. Sed Tiberius demoverat Suria 
Creticum Silanum, per adfinitatem conexum Ger- 
manico, quia Silani filia Neroni vetustissimo libero- 
rum eius pacta erat, praefeceratque Cn. Pisonem, 
ingenio violentum et obsequii ignarum, insita fero- 
cia a patre Pisone qui civili bello resurgentis in Africa 
partis acerrimo ministerio adversus Caesarem iuvit, 
mox Brutum et Cassium secutus concesso reditu 
petitione honorum abstinuit, donee ultro ambiretur 
delatum ab Augusto consulatum accipere. Sed 
praeter paternos spiritus uxoris quoque Plancinae 
nobilitate et opibus accendebatur ; vix Tiberio 
concedere, liberos eius ut multum infra despec- 

^ The statement is rather highly coloured : for Tiberius 
was only fifty-nine years of age, Germanicus thirty-one, and 
Drusus twenty-nine. 

^ See above, chap. 4. 

^ Munatia Plancina (D. Cass. LVIII. 22); presumably a 
daughter of the celebrated L. Munatius Plancus — morba 



BOOK II. xLii.-xLiii. 

exhausted by their burdens, were pressing for a 
diminution of the tribute. 

XLIII. These circumstances, then, and the events 
in Armenia, which I mentioned above, were discussed 
by Tiberius before the senate. " Tlie commotion in 
the East," he added, " could only be settled by the 
wisdom of Germanicus : for his o^vn years were 
trending to their autumn, and those of Drusus were 
as yet scarcely mature."^ There followed a decree 
of the Fathers, delegating to Germanicus the 
provinces beyond the sea, with powers overriding, 
in all regions he might visit, those of the local 
governors holding office by allotment or imperial 
nomination. Tiberius, however, had removed 
Creticus Silanus ^ from SjTia — he was a marriage 
connection of Germanicus, whose eldest son, Nero, 
was plighted to his daughter — and had given the 
appointment to Gnaeus Piso, a man of ungovemed 
passions and constitutional insubordinacy. For there 
was a strain of A^ild arrogance in the blood — a strain 
derived from his father Piso ; Avho in the Civil War 
lent strenuous aid against Caesar to the republican 
party during its resurrection in Africa, then followed 
the fortunes of Brutus and Cassius, and, on the 
annulment of his exile, refused to become a suitor — 
for office, until approached ^^ith a special request to 
accept a consulate proffered by Augustus. But, 
apart from the paternal temper, Piso's brain was 
fired by the lineage and wealth of his ^\-ife Plancina : ^ 
to Tiberius he accorded a grudging precedence ; upon 
his children he looked down as far beneath him. 

proditor — to whom Horace addresses the ode Laudabunt 
alii e.q.8. (I. 7). 

QO 2 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

tare. Nee dubium habebat se delectum qui Suriae 
imponeretur ad spes Germanici coercendas. Cre- 
didere quidam data et a Tiberio occulta mandata; 
et Plancinam baud' dubie Augusta monuit aemu- 
latione muliebri Agrippinam insectandi.^ Divisa 
nanique et discors aula erat tacitis in Drusum aut 
Germanicum studiis. Tiberius ut proprium et sui 
sanguinis Drusum fovebat : Germanico alienatio 
patrui amorem apud ceteros auxerat, et quia clari- 
tudine materni ^ generis anteibat, avum M. Anto- 
nium, avunculum Augustum ferens. Contra Druse 
proavus eques Romanus Pomponius Atticus dedecere 
Claudiorum imagines videbatur : et coniunx Germa- 
nici Agrippina fecunditate ac fama Liviam uxorem 
Drusi praecellebat. Sed fratres egregie Concordes 
et proximorum certaminibus inconcussi. 

XLIV. Nee multo post Drusus in lUyricum 
missus est ut suesceret militiae studiaque exercitus 
pararet ; simul iuvenem urbano luxu lascivientem 
melius in castris haberi Tiberius seque tutiorem 

^ insectandi] insectans Madvig. 
* materni Rhenanus : mater. 



^ " The proudest member of one of the noblest houses yet 
left, he had spoken out in the senate (I. 74) and had perhaps 
been noted by Augustus as dangerous (I. 13). Yet his wife 
stood high in the favour of Augustus, and he could hardly 
be passed over in the award of provinces. It is reasonable to 
suppose that the one mistrust was set against the other, that 
he was to be some check on his young ' imperator,' who, in 
turn, was to check him by an ' imperium maius ' on the 
spot." — Fumeaux. 

45« 



BOOK II. xLiii.-xLiv. 

Nor did he entertain a doubt that he had been selected 
for the governorship of Syria in order to repress the 
ambitions of Germanicus.^ The belief has been held 
that he did in fact receive private instructions from 
Tiberius ; and Plancina, beyond question, had advice 
from the ex-empress, bent with feminine jealousy 
upon persecuting Agrippina. For the court was 
spUt and torn by unspoken preferences for Germani- 
cus or for Drusus. Tiberius leaned to the latter as 
his o^vn issue and blood of his blood. Germanicus, 
owing to the estrangement of his uncle, had risen 
in the esteem of the world ; and he had a further 
advantage in the distinction of his mother's family, 
among whom he could point to Mark Antony for a 
grandfather and to Augustus for a great-uncle. On 
the other hand, the plain Roman knight, Pomponius 
Atticus, who was great-grandfather to Drusus, ^ 
seemed to reflect no credit upon the ancestral effigies 
of the Claudian house ; while both in fecundity and 
in fair fame Agrippina, the consort of Germanicus, 
ranked higher than Drusus' helpmeet, Livia.^ The 
brothers, however, maintained a singular unanimity, 
unshaken by the contentions of their kith and kin. 

XLIV. Shortly afterwards, Drusus was despatched 
to IlljTicum, in order to serve his apprenticeship to 
war and acquire the favour of the army. At the 
same time, Tiberius believed that the young prince, 
who was running riot among the extravagances of 
the capital, was better in camp,* and that he himself 

* Agrippa's first wife was Pomponia, daughter of Cicero's 
friend. The child of the union was Vipsania Agrippina, first 
wife of Tiberius and mother of Drusus. 

' Sist€r of Grermanicus and Claudius ; first cousin, wife, and 
poisoner of Drusus. 

* See III. 32 (and perhaps I. 76). 

453 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

rebatur utroque filio legiones obtinente. Sed Suebi 
praetendebantur auxilium adversus Cheruscos oran- 
tes; nam discessu Romanorum ac vacui externo 
metu gentis adsuetudine et turn aemulatione gloriae 
arma in se verterant. Vis nationum, virtus ducum 
in "aequo; set Maroboduum regis nomen invisum 
apud popularis, Anninium pro libertate bellantem 
favor habebat. 

XLV. Igitur non modo Cherusci sociique eorum, 
vetus Arminii miles, sumpsere bellum, sed e regno 
etiam Marobodui Suebae gentes, Semnones ac 
Langobardi, defecere ad eum. Quibus additis prae- 
poUebat, ni Inguiomerus cum manu clientium ad 
Maroboduum perfugisset, non aliam ob causam 
quam quia fratris filio iuveni patruus senex parere 
dedignabatur. Deriguntur acies, pari utrimque 
spe, nee, ut olim apud Germanos, vagis incursibus 
aut disiectas per catervas : quippe longa adversum 
nos militia insueverant sequi signa, subsidiis firmari, 
dicta imperatorum accipere. Ac tunc Arminius equo 
conlustrans cuncta, ut quosque advectus erat, 
reciperatam libertatem, trucidatas legiones, spolia 
adhuc et tela Romanis derepta in manibus multo- 
rum ostentabat ; contra fugacem Maroboduum appel- 



^ See I. 44. ^ East of the Elbe, north of Bohemia. 
3 See I. 60. 



45i 



BOOK II. xLiv.-xLv. 

would be all the safer \i-ith both his sons at the head 
of legions. The pretext, however, was a Suebian ^ 
request for help against the Cherusci : for, now that 
the Romans had -n-ithdravm and the foreign menace 
was removed, the tribes — obedient to the national 
custom, and embittered in this case by their rivalry 
in prestige — had turned their weapons against each 
other. The power of the clans and the prowess of 
their leaders were upon a level ; but while his kingly 
title rendered Maroboduus unpopular with his 
countrymen, Arminius aroused enthusiasm as the 
champion of liberty. 

XLV. The result was that not only the veteran 
soldiery of Arminius — the Cherusci and their con- 
federates — took up the campaign, but even from 
the dominions of Maroboduus two Suebian tribes, 
the Semnones and Langobardi,^ revolted to his 
cause. This accession assured him the preponderance, 
had not Inguiomerus^ with a band of his retainers 
deserted to the enemy, for the sole reason that as an 
old man and an uncle he scorned to obey the youthful 
son of his brother. Hope ran high on both sides as 
the lines of battle drew up, no longer to the old 
German accompaniment of charges either desultory 
or executed by scattered parties : for their long 
campaigns against ourselves had accustomed them 
to follow their standards, to secure their main body 
by reserves, and to give attention to their generals' 
orders. So, in this instance, Arminius on horseback 
passed in review the whole of his forces, and, as 
he came to the several di\isions, pointed to the 
liberties they had recovered, the legions they had 
butchered, and the spoils and spears, torn from 
Roman dead, which many of them carried in their 

455 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

lans, proeliorum expertem, Hercyniae latebris defen- 
surh ; ac mox per dona et legationes petivisse foedus, 
proditorem patriae, satellitem Caesaris, baud minus 
infensis animis exturbandum quam Varum Quin- 
tilium interfecerint. Meminissent modo tot proelio- 
rum, quorum eventu et ad postremum eiectis 
Romanis satis probatum, penes utros summa belli 
fuerit. 

XLVI. Neque Maroboduus iactantia sui aut pro- 
bris in hostem abstinebat, sed Inguiomerum tenens 
illo in corpore deeus omne Cheruscorum, illius con- 
siliis gesta quae prospere ceciderint testabatur : 
vaecordem Arminium et rerum nescium alienam 
gloriam in se trahere, quoniam tres vagas ^ legiones 
et ducem fraudis ignarum perfidia deceperit, magna 
cum clade Germaniae et ignominia sua, cum coniunx, 
cum filius eius servitimn adhuc tolerent. At se duo- 
decim legionibus petitimti duce Tiberio inlibatam 
Germanorum gloriam servavisse, mox condicio- 
nibus acquis discessum ; neque paenitere quod ipso- 
rum in manu sit, integrum adversum Romanes 
bellum an pacem incruentam malint. His vocibus 
instinctos exercitus propriae quoque causae stimu- 
labant, cum a Cheruscis Langobardisque pro anti- 

1 vagas Drdger : vacuas. 



^ i.e. in Bohemia. 

' The reference is to the events of 6 a.d., when the decision 
was taken to crush the new and formidable power created by 
Marbod. A double invasion of Bohemia in overwhelming 
force was about to be launched when the operations were 
effectively arrested by the great revolt of Pannonia and 
Dalmatia, which appeared to threaten Italy itself. To the 
accidenta,l nature of his deliverance Marbod naturally does not 



456 



BOOK II. xLv.-xLvi. 

hands. Maroboduus, in contrast, was described as 
" the fugitive who, without one stricken field, had 
lain safe in the coverts of the Hercynian Forest ^ and 
then sued for a treaty with gifts and embassies, a 
betrayer of his country, a satellite of the Caesar; 
whom it was their duty to expel with as httle com- 
punction as they felt when they slew Quintilius Varus. 
Let them only recall the series of their stricken fields ! 
The issue of those, and the final ejection of the 
Romans showed plainly enough with whom had rested 
the mastery in the war I " 

XLVI. Nor could Maroboduus refrain from a 
panegjTic upon himself and an invective against the 
enemy, but holding Inguiomerus by the hand, 
" There was the one person," he declared, " in whom 
resided the whole glory of the Cherusci — by whose 
counsels had been won whatsoever success they had 
achieved I Arminius was a fool, a novice in affairs, 
who usurped another man's fame, because by an act 
of perfidy he had entrapped three straggling legions 
and a commander who feared no fraud : a feat dis- 
astrous to Germany and disgraceful to its author, whose 
wife and child were even yetsuppK)rting their bondage. 
For himself, when he was attacked by twelve legions, 
with Tiberius at their head, he had kept the German 
honour unstained, and soon afterwards the com- 
batants had parted on equal terms : 2 nor could he 
regret that it was now in their power to choose with 
Rome either a war uncompromised or a bloodless 
peace ! " Fired by the oratory, the armies were 
stimulated also by motives of their own, as the 
Cherusci and Langobardi were striking for ancient 

here allude : Arminius has done so above in the words proe/i- 
orum expertem. 

457 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

quo decore aut recenti libertate et contra augendae 
dominationi certaretur. Non alias maiore mole con- 
cursum neque ambiguo magis eventu, fusis utrimque 
dextris cornibus ; sperabaturque rursum pugna, ni 
Maroboduus castra in coUis subduxisset. Id signum 
perculsi fuit et, transfugiis paulatim nudatus, in 
Marcomanos concessit misitque legatos ad Tibe- 
rium oraturos auxilia. Responsum est non iure eum 
adversus Cheruscos arma Romana invocare, qui 
pugnantis in eundem hostem Romanos nulla ope 
iuvisset. Missus tamen Drusus, ut rettulimus, paci 
firmator. 

XL VI I. Eodem anno duodecim celebres Asiae 
urbes conlapsae noctumo motu terrae, quo inpro- 
visior graviorque pestis fuit. Neque solitum in 
tali casu efFugium subveniebat in aperta prorum- 
pendi, quia diductis terris hauriebantur. Sedisse 
inmensos montes, visa in arduo quae plana fuerint, 
efFulsisse inter ruinam ignis memorant. Asperrima 
in Sardianos lues plurimum in eosdem misericordiae 
traxit : nam centies sestertium pollicitus Caesar, et 
quantum aerario aut fisco pendebant in quinquen- 
nium remisit. Magnetes a Sipylo proximi damno 
ac remedio habiti. Temnios, Philadelphenos, Aegea- 
tas, Apollonidenses,^ quique Mosteni aut Macedones 
Hyrcani vocantur, et Hierocaesariam, Myrinam, 
Cymen, Tmoliun levari idem in tempus tributis 

^ Apollonidenses Ernesti : apoUonienses. 

^ Presumably " the men of the marches " ; a powerful 
tribe, driven by the campaigns of Germanicus' father from 
the banks of the Main into Bohemia, from which they expelled 
the Celtic inhabitants. 

^ Of the twelve, Temnos, Aegeae, Myrina and Cyme were in 
Aeolis ; the remainder, further inland in Lydia. 

458 



BOOK II. XLVI.-XLVII. 

fame or recent liberty ; their adversaries for the 
extension of a reakn. No field ever witnessed a 
fiercer onset or a more ambiguous event ; for on 
both sides the riffht winor was routed. A renewal 
of the conflict was expected, when Maroboduus 
shifted his camp to the hills. It was the sign of a 
beaten man ; and stripped gradually of his forces 
by desertions, he fell back upon the Marcomani^ and 
sent a deputation to Tiberius asking assistance. The 
reply ran that " to invoke the Roman arms against 
the Cherusci was not the part of a man who had 
brought no help to Rome when she was herself 
engaged against the same enemy." Drusus, how- 
ever, as we have mentioned, was sent out to con- 
solidate a peace. 

XLVII. In the same year, twelve important cities 
of Asia collapsed in an earthquake, the time being 
night, so that the havoc was the less foreseen and the 
more devastating. Even the usual resource in these 
catastrophes, a rush to open ground, was unavailing, 
as the fugitives were swallowed up in yawning chasms. 
Accounts are given of huge mountains sinking, of 
former plains seen heaved aloft, of fires flashing 
out amid the ruin. As the disaster fell heaviest on 
the Sardians, it brought them the largest measure of 
sympathy, the Caesar promising ten million sesterces, 
and remitting for five years their payments to the 
national and imperial exchequers. The Magnesians 
of Sipylus were ranked seeond in the extent of their 
losses and their indemnity. In the case of the 
Temnians, Philadelphenes, Aegeates, Apollonideans, 
the so-called Mostenians and H}Tcanian Mace- 
donians, and the cities of Hierocaesarea, Mj-rina, 
Cyme, and Tmolus,^ it was decided to exempt them 

459 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

mittique ex senatu placuit, qui praesentia spectaret 
refoveretque. Delectus est M. Ateius ^ e praetoriis, 
ne consulari obtinente Asiam aemulatio inter pares 
et ex eo impedimentum oreretur. 

XLVIII. Magnificam in publicum largitionem 
auxit Caesar baud minus grata liberalitate, quod 
bona Aemiliae Musae, locupletis intestatae, petita 
in fiscum, Aemilio Lepido, cuius e domo videbatur, 
et Pantulei divitis equitis Romani hereditatem, 
quamquam ipse heres in parte legeretur, tradidit 
M. Servilio, quem prioribus neque suspectis tabulis 
scriptum compererat, nobilitatem utriusque pecunia 
iuvandam praefatus. Neque hereditatem cuiusquam 
adiit nisi cum amicitia meruisset: ignotos et aliis 
infensos eoque principem nuncupantis procul arce- 
bat. Ceterum ut honestam innocentium pauper- 
tatem levavit, ita prodigos et ob flagitia egentis, 
Vibidium Virronem,^ Marium Nepotem, Appium 
Appianum, Cornelium Sullam, Q. Vitellium movit 
senatu aut sponte cedere passus est. 

XLIX. Isdem temporibus deum aedis vetustate 
aut igni abolitas coeptasque ab Augusto dedicavit, 
Libero Liberaeque et Cereri iuxta Circum Maximum, 

^ Ateius Mommsen : aletus. 

* Virronem Nipperdey : Varronem. 

^ The fire in question was probably that of 31 B.C., ascribed 
(D. Cass. L. 10) to an emeute of freedmen occasioned by a 
property-levy. 

^ Dionysus, Persephone, and Demeter. This is stated to 
have been vowed by Postumius before the battle of Lake 
Regillus (496 B.C.) and to have been completed three years 
later. 

460 



BOOK II. xLvii.-xLix. 

from tribute for the same term and to send a sena- 
torial commissioner to view the state of affairs and 
administer relief. Since Asia was held by a consular 
governor, an ex-praetor — Marcus Ateius — ^was 
selected, so as to avoid the difficulties which might 
arise from the jealousy of two officials of similar 
standing. 

XLVIII. The emperor supplemented his imposing 
benefaction on behalf of the state by an equally 
popular display of private liberality. The property 
of Aemilia Musa, a woman of means and intestate, 
which had been claimed as escheating to the imperial 
exchequer, he transferred to Aemilius Lepidus, to 
whose family she apparently belonged; and the 
inheritance of the wealthy Roman knight Pantuleius, 
though he was himself mentioned as part heir, he 
handed over to Marcus Servilius, on discovering 
that he had figured in an earlier and unsuspected 
testament. In both cases, he remarked before doing 
so, that high birth required the help of money. He 
entered upon no bequest unless he had earned it by 
his friendship : strangers, and persons who were at 
variance with others and consequently named the 
sovereign as their heir, he kept at a distance. But 
as he relieved the honourable poverty of the innocent, 
so he procured the removal, or accepted the resigna- 
tion, of the following senators : — Vibidius Virro, 
Marius Nepos, Appius Appianus, Cornelius Sulla, 
and Quintus VitelHus ; prodigals, beggared by their 
vices. 

XLIX. Nearly at the same time, he consecrated 
the temples, ruined by age or fire,^ the restoration 
of which had been undertaken by Augustus. They 
included a temple to Liber, Libera, and Ceres,^ close 

461 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

quam ^ A. Postumius dictator voverat, eodemque in 
loco aedem Florae ab Lucio et Marco Publiciis aedi- 
libus constitutam, et lano templum, quod apud 
forum holitorium C. Duilius struxerat, qui primus 
rem Romanam prospere mari gessit triumphumque 
navalem de Poenis meruit. Spei aedes a ^ Germanico 
sacratur : banc A. Atilius ^ voverat eodem bello. 

L. Adolescebat interea lex maiestatis. Et Appu- 
leiam Varillam,* sororis Augusti neptem, quia pro- 
brosis sermonibus divum Augustum ac Tiberium 
et matrem eius inlusisset Caesarique conexa adul- 
terio teneretur, maiestatis delator arcessebat. De 
adulterio satis caveri lege lulia visum : maiestatis 
crimen distingui Caesar postulavit damnarique, si 
qua de Augusto inreligiose dixisset : in se iacta nolle 
ad cognitionem vocari. Interrogatus a consule quid 
de iis censeret quae de matre eius locuta secus 
argueretur reticuit : dein proximo senatus die illius 
quoque nomine oravit ne cui verba in earn quo- 
quo modo habita crimini forent. Liberavitque Appu- 
leiam lege maiestatis : adulterii graviorem poenam 

^ quam Lipsius : quas. 

^ a Beroaldus : in. 

* A. Atilius Nipperdey : iatillius. 

* Varillam Furlaneito : variliam. 

1 About 240 B.C. 

2 Between the Capitoline Hill and the Tiber. Duilius' 
victory with the first Roman fleet was gained off Mylae in 
Sicily in 260 B.C. (Polyb. I. 20-23), his triumph being com- 
memorated by the cohimna rostrata. 

* Aulus Atilius Calatinus, consul 258 b.c, and 254 B.C., 
dictator 249 b.c. 

* Lex lulia de adxdteriis et stupris (17 B.C.). 

^ Forfeiture of half her dowry and a third of her property, 
together with relegation to an island. — Exemplo inaiorum 

462 



BOOK II. xLix.-L. 

to the Circus Maximus, and vowed by Aulus Postu- 
mius, the dictator; another, on the same site, to 
Flora, founded by Lucius and Marcus Publicius in 
their aedileship,} and a shrine of Janus, built in the 
Herb Market ^ by Gains Duilius, who first carried the 
Roman cause to success on sea and earned a naval 
triumph over the Carthaginians. The temple of 
Hope, vowed by Aulus Atilius ^ in the same war, was 
dedicated by Germanicus. 

L. Meanwhile, the law of treason was coming to 
its strength; and Appuleia Varilla, the -niece of 
Augustus'^ ^ter, was summoned by an informer to 
answer a charge under the statute, on the ground 
that she had insulted the deified Augustus, as well 
as Tiberius and his mother, by her scandalous con- 
versations, and had sullied her connection with the 
Caesar by the crime of adultery. The adultery, it 
was decided, was sufficiently covered by the Julian 
Law ;* and as to the charge of treason, the emperor 
requested that a distinction should be drawn, con- 
viction to follow, should she have said anything 
tantamount to sacrilege against Augustus : remarks 
levelled at himself he did not wish to be made the 
subject of inquiry. To the consul's question : "What 
was his opinion of the reprehensible statements she 
was alleged to have made about his mother? " he 
gave no answer ; but at the next meeting of the 
senate he asked, in her name also, that no one should 
be held legally accountable for words uttered against 
her in any circumstances whatever. After freeing 
Appuleia from the operation of the statute, he 
deprecated the heavier penalty ^ for adultery, and 

applies, not to the penalty, but to the fact that its execution 
was entrusted to her relatives. 

463 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

deprecatus, ut exemplo maiorum propinquis suis 
ultra ducentesimum lapidem removeretur suasit. 
Adultero Manlio Italia atque Africa interdictum 
est. 

LI. De praetore in locum Vipstani Galli, quem 
mors abstulerat, subrogando certamen incessit. Ger- 
manicus atque Drusus (nam etiam turn Romae 
erant) Haterium Agrippam propinquiun Germa- 
nici fovebant. Contra plerique nitebantur ut Hume- 
rus liberorum in candidatis praepolleret, quod lex 
iubebat. Laetabatur Tiberius, cum inter filios eius 
et leges senatus disceptaret. Victa est sine dubio 
lex, sed neque statim et paucis sufFragiis, quo modo 
etiam cum valerent leges vincebantur. 

LII. Eodem anno coeptum in Africa bellum, duce 
hostium Tacfarinate. Is natione Numida, in castris 
Romanis auxiliaria ^ stipendia meritus, mox desertor 
vagos primum et latrociniis suetos ad praedam et 
raptus congregare, dein more militiae per vexilla 
et turmas componere, postremo non inconditae 
turbae sed Musulamiorum dux haberi. Valida ea 
gens et solitudinibus Africae propinqua, nullo etiam 
turn urbium cultu, cepit arma Maurosque accolas 
in bellum traxit : dux et his, Mazippa. Divisusque 
exercitus, ut Tacfarinas lectos viros et Romanum in 
modum armatos castris attineret, disciplina et impe- 

^ auxiliaria] auxiliaris Lipsiua. 

^ In strictness, he should have lost half his estate and been 
relegated to a different island from Appuleia. 

^ According to the Lex Papia Poppaea (see III. 25-28). 
3 For his later activities, see III. 20, 22, 73 ; IV. 23. 

* South of the Saltus Aurasius {Mt. Aurez), where the 
desert frontier of the Roman province began. 

* Numidian tribes inhabiting eastern Mauretania. 

464 



BOOK II. L.-Lii. 

suggested that in accordance with the old-world 
precedents she might be handed to her relatives and 
removed to a point beyond the two-hundredth 
milestone. Her lover, Manlius, was banned from 
residence in Italy or Africa.^ 

LI. The appointment of a praetor to replace 
Vipstanus Gallus, cut off by death, gave rise to 
dispute. Germanicus and Drusus — for they were 
still at Rome — supported Haterius Agrippa, a kins- 
man of Germanicus. On the other hand, many 
insisted that the deciding factor should be the nmnber 
of a candidate's children — legally the correct position.^ 
Tiberius was overjoyed to see the senate divided 
between his sons and the laws. The law was certainly 
defeated, but not immediately and by a few votes 
only,— the mode in which laws were defeated even 
in days when laws had force ! 

LII. In the course of the same year, war broke 
out in Africa ; where the enemy was commanded 
by Tacfarinas.^ By nationality a Numidian, who had 
served as an auxiliary in the Roman camp and then 
deserted, he began by recruiting gangs of vagrants, 
accustomed to robbery, for the purposes of plunder 
and of rapine : then he marshalled them into a body 
in the military style by companies and troops ; 
finally, he was recognized as the head, not of a 
chaotic horde, but of the Musulamian people.* That 
powerful tribe, bordering on the solitudes of Africa, 
and even then innocent of city life, took up arms 
and drew the adjacent Moors ^ into the conflict. 
They, too, had their leader, Mazippa; and the 
confederate army was so divided that Tacfarinas 
could retain in camp a picked corps, equipped on the 
Roman model, and there inure it to discipline and 

465 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

riis compesceret, Mazippa levi cum copia incendia et 
caedis et terrorem circumferret. Conpulerantque 
Cinithios, haud spernendam nationem, in eadem, 
cum Furius Camillus pro consule Africae legionem 
et quod sub signis sociorum. in unum conductos ad 
hostem duxit, modicam manum, si multitudinem 
Numidarum atque Maurorum spectares ; sed nihil 
aeque cavebatur quam ne bellum metu eluderent y 
spe victoriae inducti sunt ut vincerentur. Igitur- 
legio medio, leves cohortes duaeque alae in cornibus 
locantur. Nee Tacfarinas pugnam detrectavit. Fust 
Numidae, multosque post annos Furio nomini 
partum decus militiae. Nam post ilium reciperato- 
rem urbis filiumque eius Camillum penes alias fami- 
lias imperatoria laus fuerat ; atque hie, quem memo- 
ramus, bellorum expers habebatur. Eo pronior 
Tiberius res gestas apud senatum celebravit : et 
decrevere patres triumphalia insignia, quod Camillo 
ob modestiam vitae impune fuit. 

LIII. Sequens annus Tiberium tertio, Germani- 
cum iterum consules habuit. Sed eum honorem Ger- 
manicus iniit apud urbem Achaiae Nicopolim, quo 
venerat per lUyricam oram viso fratre Druso in 
Delmatia agente, Hadriatici ac mox lonii maris 



^ Further eastward on the Lesser Syrtis (Gulf of Gabes). 

2 The allusion is to the defeat of the Gauls after Allia (390 
B.C.) by M. Furius Camillus. — In what follows, Tacitus is 
charged with confusing the grandson of the dictator with his 
son, while overlooking two minor triumphs won by the family. 

3 The implication is that he was not the type of commander 
who could inspire jealousy. 

466 



BOOK II. Lii.-Lm. 

obedience, while Mazippa, with a light-armed band, 
disseminated fire, slaughter, and terror. They had 
forced the Cinithians,^ by no means a negligible tribe, 
to join them, when Furius Camillus, proconsul of 
Africa, combined his legion with the whole of the 
auxiharies under the standards, and led them towards 
the enemy — a modest array in \iew of the multitude 
of Nxmiidians and Moors ; yet the one thing he was 
anxious above all to avoid was that they should take 
fright and evade a trial of arms. The hope of 
victory, however, lured them into defeat. The 
legion, then, was posted in the centre ; the light 
cohorts and two squadrons of horse on the ^\•ings. 
Nor did Tacfarinas decline the challenge : the 
Numidians were routed ; and after many years the 
Furian name won martial honours. For, since the 
days of Rome's great recoverer - and his son, the 
laurels of high command had passed to other houses ; 
and the Camillus -with whom we are here concerned 
was not regarded as a soldier. Tiberius, therefore, 
was the readier to laud his exploits before the senate ; 
while the Fathers voted him the insignia of triumph — 
to the unassuming Camillus an innocuous compli- 
ment.^ 

LIII. The following year found Tiberius consul a.t.c. 771 . 
for a third time ; Germanicus, for a second. The ^'°' ^^ 
latter, however, entered upon that office in the 
Achaian town of Nicopolis,* which he had reached 
by skirting the Illyrian coast after a visit to his 
brother Drusus, then resident in Dalmatia : the 
passage had been stormy both in the Adriatic and, 

* On the northern side of the entrance to the Sinus Am- 
bracicus (Gulf of Arta) ; founded by Augustus on the site of 
his camp before the battle of Actiom. 

467 

HH 2 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

adversam navigationem perpessus. Igitur paucos 
dies insumpsit reficiendae classi ; simul sinus Actiaca 
victoria inclutos et sacratas ab Augusto manubias 
castraque Antonii cum i-ecordatione maiorum suo- 
rum adiit. Namque ei, ut memoravi, avunculus 
Augustus, avus Antonius erant, magnaque illic 
imago tristium laetorumque. Hinc ventum Athenas 
foederique sociae et vetustae urbis datum ut uno 
lictore uteretur. Excepere ^ Graeci quaesitissimis 
honoribus, Vetera suorum facta dictaque praeferentes 
quo plus dignationis adulatio haberet. 

LIV. Petita inde Euboea tramisit Lesbum, ubi 
Agrippina novissimo partu luliam edidit. Turn 
extrema Asiae Perinthumque ac Byzantium, Thra- 
cias urbes, mox Propontidis angustias et os Pon- 
ticum intrat, cupidine veteres locos et fama cele- 
brates noscendi ; pariterque provincias internis 
certaminibus aut magistratuum iniuriis fessas refo- 
vebat. Atque ilium in regressu sacra Samothracum 
visere nitentem obvii aquilones depulei'e. Igitur 
adito Ilio ^ quaeque ibi varietate fortunae et nostri 
origine veneranda, relegit Asiam adpellitque Colo- 

1 Excepere Beroaldus : excipere. 

2 adito Ilio Sev. Vater : alio. 

^ At Actium, on the southern side of the gulf. 

* See above, chap. 43. 

' The custom was for a Roman magistrate, on entering the 
territoiy of a civitas libera such as Athens, to leave behind him 
the fasces and lictors. In the present case, Germanicus' 
single lictor has no official significance whatever. 

* Julia Livilla, married to M. Vinicius in 33 a.d. (VI. 15); 
banished by her brother Caligula four years later (D. Cass. 
LIX. 3, Suet. Gal. 24, 29) ; recalled by her uncle Claudius, but 
afterwards put to death at the instigation of Messalina, on the 
ground of her alleged adultery with Seneca (D. Cass. LX. 4; 
ih. 8; Suet. Gal. 59; Glaud. 29). 

468 



BOOK II. Liii.-Liv. 

later, in the Ionian Sea. He spent a few days, 
therefore, in refitting the fleet; while at the same 
time, evoking the memory of his ancestors, he viewed 
the gulf imniortalized by the victory of Actium, 
together with the spoils which Augustus had con- 
secrated, and the camp of Antony. ^ For Augustus, as 
I have said,2 was his great-uncle, Antony his grand- 
father; and before his eyes lay the whole great 
picture of disaster and of triumph. — He next arrived 
at Athens ; where, in deference to our treaty with 
an allied and time-honoured city, he made use of 
one lictor alone. ^ The Greeks received him with 
most elaborate compliments, and, in order to temper 
adulation with dignity, paraded the ancient doings 
and sayings of their countrymen. 

LIV. From Athens he visited Euboea, and crossed 
over to Lesbos ; where Agrippina, in her last con- 
finement, gave birth to Julia.* Entering the out- 
skirts of Asia, and the Thracian towns of Perinthus 
and Byzantium, he then struck through the straits 
of the Bosphorus and the mouth of the Euxine, eager 
to make the acquaintance of those ancient and 
storied regions, though simultaneously he brought 
relief to provinces outworn by internecine feud or 
official tyranny. On the return journey, he made 
an effort to visit the Samothracian Mysteries,^ but 
was met by northerly winds, and failed to make the 
shore. So, after an excursion to Troy and those 
venerable remains which attest the mutability of 
fortune and the origin of Rome, he skirted the Asian 
coast once more, and anchored off Colophon, in order 

* The reference is to the cult of the Cabiri; the late identi- 
fication of whom with the Penates may have suggested 
Germanicus' visit. 

469 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

phona ut Clarii ApoUinis oraculo uteretur, Non 
femina illic, ut apud Delphos, sed certis e familiis et 
ferme Mileto accitus sacerdos numerum modo consul- 
tantium et nomina audit ; turn in specum degressus, 
hausta fontis arcani aqua, ignarus plerumque 
litterarum et carminum, edit responsa versibus 
compositis super rebus quas quis mente concepit. 
Et ferebatur Germanico per ambages, ut mos ora- 
culis, maturum exitum ^ cecinisse. 

LV. At Cn. Piso quo properantius destinata 
inciperet civitatem Atheniensium turbido incessu 
exterritam oratione saeva increpat, oblique Germa- 
nicum perstringens quod contra decus Romani 
nominis non Atheniensis, tot cladibus extinctos, sed 
conluviem illam nationum comitate nimia coluisset : 
hos enim esse Mithridatis adversus Sullam, Antonii 
adversus divum Augustum socios. Etiam vetera 
obiectabat, quae in Macedones inprospere, violenter 
in suos fecissent, ofFensus urbi propria quoque ira 
quia Theophilum quendam Areo iudicio falsi damna- 
tum precibus suis non concederent. Exim naviga- 
tione celeri per Cycladas et compendia maris adse- 
quitur Germanicum apud insulam Rhodum, baud 
nescium quibus insectationibus petitus foret; sed 

^ exitum Heraeus : exitium. 



^ Augustus had found it necessary to prohibit the practice 
of selling Athenian citizenship (D. Cass. LIV. 7). j 

2 In the first Mithridatic War (87-86 B.C.). 
' At Actium. 

470 



BOOK II. Liv.-Lv. 

to consult the oracle of the Clarian Apollo. Here it is 
not a prophetess, as at Delphi, but a male priest, 
chosen out of a restricted number of families, and in 
most cases imported from Miletus, who hears the 
number and the names of the consultants, but no 
more, then descends into a cavern, swallows a 
draught of water from a mysterious spring, and — 
though ignorant generally of WTiting and of metre — 
delivers his response in set verses dealing with the 
subject each inquirer has in mind. Rumour said 
that he had predicted to Germanicus his hastening 
fate, though in the equivocal terms which oracles 
affect. 

LV. Meanwhile Gnaeus Piso, in haste to embark 
upon his schemes, first alarmed the community of 
Athens by a tempestuous entry, then assailed them 
in a virulent speech, which included an indirect 
attack on Germanicus for " compromising the dignity 
of the Roman name by his exaggerated civilities, 
not to the Athenians (whose repeated disasters had 
extinguished the breed) but to the present cosmo- 
politan rabble.^ For these were the men who had 
leagued themselves with Mithridates against Sulla ,- 
with Antony against the deified Augustus ! " ^ He 
upbraided them even with their ancient history ; 
their ill-starred outbreaks against Macedon and their 
violence towards their o\vn countrymen. Private 
resentment, also, embittered him against the town, 
as the authorities refused to give up at his request 
a certain Theophilus, whom the verdict of the 
Areopagus had declared guilty of forgery. After 
this, quick sailing by a short route through the 
Cyclades brought him up with Germanicus at Rhodes. 
The prince was aware of the invectives with which he 

471 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

tanta mansuetudine agebat ut, cum orta tempestas 
raperet in abrupta possetque interitus inimici ad 
casum referri, miserit triremis quarum subsidio dis- 
crimini eximeretur. Neque tamen mitigatus Piso, 
et vix diei moram perpessus linquit Germanicum 
praevenitque. Et postquam Suriam ac legiones 
attigit, largitione, ambitu, infimos • manipularium 
iuvando, cum veteres centuriones, severos tribunes 
demoveret locaque eorum clientibus suis vel deter- 
rimo cuique attribueret, desidiam in castris, licen- 
tiam in urbibus, vagum ac lascivientem per agros 
militem sineret, eo usque corruptionis provectus 
est, ut sermone vulgi parens legionum haberetur. 
Nee Plancina se intra decora feminis tenebat, sed 
exercitio equitum, decursibus cohortium interesse, 
in Agrippinam, in Germanicum contumelias iacere, 
quibusdam etiam bonorum militum ad mala obse- 
quia promptis, quod baud invito imperatore ea fieri 
occultus rumor incedebat. Nota haec Germanico, 
sed praeverti ad Armenios instantior cura fuit. 

LVI. Ambigua gens ea antiquitus hominum | 
ingeniis et situ terrarum, quoniam nostris provinciis 
late praetenta penitus ad Medos porrigitur ; maxi- 
misque imperils interiecti et saepius discordes sunt, 
472 



BOOK II. Lv.-Lvi. 

had been assailed ; yet he behaved with such mildness 
that, when a rising storm swept Piso towards the 
rock-bound coast, and the destruction of his foe 
could have been referred to misadventure, he sent 
warships to help in extricating him from his predica- 
ment. Even so, Piso was not mollified ; and, after 
reluctantly submitting to the loss of a single day, he 
left Germanicus and completed the journey first. 
Then, the moment he reached Syria and the legions, 
by bounties and by bribery, by attentions to the 
humblest private, by dismissals of the veteran cen- 
turions and the stricter commanding officers, whom he 
replaced by dependants of his ovm or by men of the 
worst character, by permitting indolence in the 
camip, licence in the to^^•ns, and in the country a 
vagrant and riotous soldiery, he carried corruption 
to such a pitch that in the language of the rabble he 
was known as the Father of the Legions. Nor 
could Plancina contain herself within the limits of 
female decorum : she attended cavalry exercises and 
infantry manceuNTes ; she flung her gibes a t Agrippina 
or Germanicus ; some even of the loyal troops being 
ready to yield her a disloyal obedience : for a 
whispered rumour was gaining ground that these 
doings were not unacceptable to the emperor. The 
state of affairs was known to Germanicus, but his 
more immediate anxiety was to reach Armenia first. 
LVT. That country, from the earliest period, has 
o^vned a national character and a geographical 
situation of equal ambiguity, since with a wide extent 
of frontier conterminous with oiu: own pro\inces, 
it stretches inland right up to Media; so that the 
Armenians lie interposed between two vast empires, 
with which, as they detest Rome and envy the 

473 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

adversus Romanos odio et in Parthum invidia. 
Regem ilia tempestate non habebant, amoto \'onone : 
sed favor nationis inclinabat in Zenonem, Pole- 
monis regis Pontici filium, quod is prima ab infantia 
instituta et cultum Armeniorum aemulatus, venatu, 
epulis et quae alia bai'bari celebrant, proceres ple- 
bemque iuxta devinxerat. Igitur Germanicus in 
urbe Artaxata adprobantibus nobilibus, circum- 
fusa multitudine, insigne regium capiti eius imposuit. 
Ceteri venerantes regem Artaxiam eonsalutavere, 
quod illi vocabulum indiderant ex nomine urbis. 
At Cappadoces in formam provinciae redacti Q. 
Veranium legatum accepere ; et quaedam ex regiis 
tributis deminuta quo mitius Romanum imperium 
speraretur. Commagenis Q. Servaeus praeponitur, 
turn primum ad ius praetoris translatis. 

LVII. Cunctaque socialia prospere composita 
non ideo laetum Germanicum habebant ob super- 
biam Pisonis qui iussus partem legionum ipse aut 
per filium in Armeniam ducere utrumque neglexerat, 
Cyrri demum apud hiberna decumae legionis con- 
venere,^ firmato vultu, Piso adversus metum, Ger- 
manicus, ne minari crederetur; et erat, ut rettuli, 
clementior. Sed amici accendendis ofFensionibus 

^ convenere Rhenanus : convenire. 

^ See above, chaps. 1-4. 

^ Long dead, Pontus being now governed by his widow. 

' On the Araxes (Ards), near the foot of Ararat, the ruins 
still carrying the name Ardaschar; according to Plutarch 
{Luc. 31), a [leya xal ndyKaXov xP^t"-"- ''^oXeuis, designed by 
Hannibal for Artaxias I; fired and razed by Corbulo in 
58A.D. (XIII. 41). 

* Rather by his two predecessors of the name. 

^ Only a temporary expedient, as he and Servaeus soon 
reappear in Germanicus' suite (III. 10, 13, 19). 

474 



BOOK II. LTI.-LVII. 

Parthian, they are too frequently at variance. At 
the moment they lacked a king, owing to the removal 
of ^'onones,^ but the national sentiment leaned to 
Zeno, a son of the Pontic sovereign Polemo : ^ for 
the prince, an imitator from earliest infancy of 
Armenian institutions and dress, had endeared him- 
self equally to the higher and the lower orders by 
his affection for the chase, the banquet, and the 
other favourite pastimes of barbarians. Accordingly, 
in the town of Artaxata,^ before the consenting nobles 
and a great concourse of the people, Germanicus 
placed on his head the emblem of royalty. All save 
the Romans did homage and acclaimed King Artaxias 
— an appellation suggested by the name of the city.^ 
On the other hand, Cappadocia, reduced to the rank 
of a pro\dnce, received Quintus Veranius as governor ;>* 
and, to encourage hope in the mildness of Roman 
sway, a certain number of the royal tributes were 
diminished. Quintus Servaeus was appointed to 
Commagene, now for the first time transferred to 
praetorian jurisdiction. 

LVII. Complete and happy as was his adjustment 
of the allies' affairs, it gave Germanicusno satisfaction, 
in view of the insolence of Piso ; who, when ordered 
to conduct part of the legions into Armenia either 
in his ovm person or in that of his son, had ignored 
both alternatives. In CjTrus,^ the winter-quarters 
of the tenth legion, they met at last, their features 
schooled to exclude, in Piso's case, all evidence of 
alarm; in the Caesar's, all suggestion of a threat. 
He was, in fact, as I have stated, indulgent to a fault. 
But his friends had the craft to inflame his resent- 

* In N. Syria (now Khoros). 

475 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

callidi intendere vera, adgerere falsa ipsumque et 
Plancinam et filios variis niodis criminari. Postremo 
paucis familiarium adhibitis sermo coeptus a Cae- 
sare, qualem ira et dissimulatio gignit, responsum 
a Pisone precibus contumacibus ; discesseruntque ^ 
apertis ^ odiis. Post quae ^ rarus in tribunal! Caesaris 
Piso et, si quando adsideret, atrox ac dissentire 
manifestus. Vox quoque eius audita est in convivio, 
cum apud regem Nabataeorum coronae aureae 
magno pondere Caesari et Agrippinae, leves Pisoni 
et ceteris ofFerrentur, principis Roniani, non Parthi 
regis filio eas epulas dari ; abiecitque simul coronam 
et multa in luxum addidit quae Germanico quam- 
quam acerba tolerabantur tamen. 

LVIII. Inter quae ab rege Parthorum Artabano 
legati venere. Miserat amicitiam ac foedus memo- 
raturos, et cupere novari * dextras, daturumque honori 
Germanici ut ripam Euphratis accederet : petere 
interim ne Vonones in Suria haberetur neu proceres 
gentium propinquis nuntiis ad discordias traheret. 
Ad ea Germanicus de societate Romanorum Par- 
thorumque magnifice, de adventu regis et cultu sui 
cum decore ac modestia respondit. Vonones Pom- 
peiopolim, Ciliciae maritimam urbem, amotus est. 

* discesseruntque Pichena : discesserantque. 
^ apertis Lipsius : opertis. 

' post quae 3Iuretus : postque. 

* cupere novari N-ipperdey : cuperere novari (cupere 
renovari vetus vulgata). 

1 The Nabataeans at this time formed a dependent kingdom 
in N.W. Arabia; later (105 a.d.), the province of Arabia 
Petraea. 

2 The contrast between regis and principis — the " king of 
kings " and the " first of citizens " — is necessarily obliterated 
in the translation. 



BOOK II. Lvn.-Lviii. 

ments : they aggravated truths, accumulated false- 
hoods, levelled a miscellany of charges at Piso, 
Plancina, and their sons. Finally, in the presence 
of a few intimates, the prince opened the conversation 
in the key always struck by dissembled anger ; Piso 
retiurned a defiant apology, and they parted in open 
hatred. From now onward, Piso's appearances at 
the tribunal of Germanicus were rare ; and, on the 
occasions when he took his seat, it was with the 
sullen air of undisguised opposition. Again, he 
was heard to remark in a banquet at the Nabataean 
court,^ when massive golden croMTis were offered to 
Germanicus and Agrippina, and lighter specimens 
to Piso and the rest, that this was a dinner given to 
the son, not of a Parthian king, but of a Roman 
prince. 2 At the same time, he tossed his cro^\-n 
aside, and added a diatribe on luxury, which Ger- 
manicus, in spite of its bitterness, contrived to 
tolerate. 

L\'III|. Meanwhile deputies arrived from the 
Parthian king, Artabanus. They had been sent to 
mention the friendship and the treaty between the 
nations, and to add that •' the king desired a fresh 
exchange of pledges ; and, in compliment to Ger- 
manicus, would meet him on the bank of the 
Euphrates. In the interval, he asked that Vonones 
should not be kept in Syria ^ to liu-e the tribal chieftains 
into discord by agents from over the border." As 
to the alliance between Rome and Parthia, Ger- 
manicus replied in florid terms ; of the king's coming 
and his courtesy to himself he spoke with dignity 
and modesty : Vonones was removed to Pompeiopolis,* 
a maritime town of Cilicia. The concession was not 

' See above, chap. 4. * Formerly Soli, now Mezetlu. 

477 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

Datum id non modo precibus Artabani, sed contu- 
meliae Pisonis cui gratissimus erat ob plurima officia 
et dona quibus Plancinam devinxerat.^ 

LXII. Dum ea aestas Germanico pluris per pro- 
vincias transigitur, baud leve decus Drusus quae- 
sivit inliciens Germanos ad discordias utque fracto 
iam Maroboduo usque in exitium insisteretur. Erat 
inter Gotones nobilis iuvenis nomine Catualda, 
profugus olim vi Marobodui et tune dubiis rebus eius 
ultionem ausus. Is valida manu finis Marcomano- 
rum ingreditur corruptisque primoribus ad socie- 
tatem inrumpit regiam castellumque iuxta situm. 
Veteres illic Sueborum praedae et nostris e provin- 
ciis lixae ac negotiatores reperti quos ius commer- 
cii, dein cupido augendi pecuniam, postremo oblivio 
patriae suis quemque ab sedibus hostilem in agrum 
transtulerat. 

LXIII. Maroboduo vmdique deserto non aliud sub- 
sidium quam misericoi'dia Caesaris fuit. Trans- 
gressus Danuvium, qua Noricam provinciam prae- 
fluit, scripsit Tiberio non ut profugus aut supplex, 

^ SequurUur in codd. cc. 59-61 : post c. 67 traiecit Steup, 



^ Steup {Rh. Mas. XXIV. 72) first drew attention to the 
grave difficulties involved by the traditional order of the 
chapters. According to that order, the events of chaps. 62-67 
fall, together with Germanicus' Egyptian tour, in the year 
1 9 A.D. Yet the opening words of chap. 62 refer unmistakably to 
the prince's actions in 18 a.d. Again, the announcements of 
Marbod's fall and Artaxias' coronation arrive simultaneously 
at Rome (chap. 64 init.) ; but a year divides the two happenings. 
In addition, it is at least surprising that Drusus should have 
left for Illyricum in 17 a.d. (see chaps. 44, 51, 53), and that 
nothing should be heard of him until 19 a.d. 

478 



BOOK II. Lvm.-LxHi. 

simply a compliance with Artabanus' request but 
also an affront to Piso ; to whom the pretender was 
highly acceptable in consequence of the numerous 
civilities and presents for which Planeina was indebted 
to him. 

LXII.i While Germanicus was passing the summer 
in various provinces. Drusus earned considerable 
credit by tempting the Germans to revive their 
feuds and, as the power of Maroboduus was already 
shattered, to press on his complete destruction. 
Among the Gotones ^ was a youth of good family, 
named Catualda, exiled some time ago by the arms 
of Maroboduus, and now, as his fortunes waned, 
emboldened to revenge. With a strong following, 
he entered Marcomanian territory, seduced the 
chieftains into complicity, and burst into the palace 
and adjoining fortress. There they discovered the 
ancient Suebian spoils, together ^\^th a number of 
sutlers and traders out of the Roman provinces, 
drawn from their respective homes and implanted 
on hostile soil first by the commercial pri%-ileges,^ then 
by the lure of increased profits, and finally by oblivion 
of their country. 

LXIII. Forsaken on every side, Maroboduus had no 
other refuge than the imperial clemency. Crossing 
the Danube where it flows by the province of Noricum* 
he wrote to Tiberius, not in the tone of a landless man 

* On the eastern bank of the lower Vistula. After their 
migration in the latter part of the second century they are 
found on the Euxine under the more famous title of Goths. 

' Conferred by the treaty which excites the indignation of 
Arminius in chap. 4.5. 

* Between Raetia and Pannonia, the northern frontier 
being the Danube from Passau nearly to'Vienna. 

479 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

sed ex memoria prioris fortunae : nam multis natio- 
nibus clarissimum quondam regem ad se vocantibus 
Romanam amicitiam praetulisse. Responsum a 
Caesare tutam ei honoratamque sedem in Italia 
fore, si maneret: sin rebus eius aliud conduceret, 
abiturum fide qua venisset. Ceterum apud senatum 
disseruit non Philippum Atheniensibus, non Pyrrhum 
aut Antiochum populo Romano perinde metuendos 
fuisse. Extat oratio qua magnitudinem viri, vio- 
lentiam subiectarum ei gentium et quam propin- 
quus Italiae hostis, suaque in destruendo eo consilia 
extulit. Et Maroboduus quidem Ravennae habitus, 
si ^ quando insolescerent Suebi, quasi rediturus in 
regnum ostentabatur : sed non excessit Italia per 
duodeviginti annos consenuitque multum imminuta 
claritate ob nimiam vivendi cupidinem. Idem Catual- 
dae casus neque aliud perfugium. Pulsus baud multo 
post Hermundurorum opibus et Vibilio duce recep- 
tusque, Forum lulium, Narbonensis Galliae eolo- 
niam, mittitur. Barbari utrumque comitati, ne 
quietas provincias immixti turbarent, Danuvium 
ultra inter flumina Marum et Cusum locantur, dato 
rege Vannio gentis Quadorum. 

LXIV. Simul nuntiato regem Artaxian Armeniis a 

^ si . . . rediturus Beroaldus : nesi . . . reditus. 



^ A friendly branch of the Suebi, north of Raetia, to which 
they were allowed free access : see G^erm. 41. Vibilius appears 
again in XII. 29. 

^ On the Via Aurelia, which ran to Aries. Now Frejus, in 
the departement of Vat. 

^ In Moravia and Upper Hungary; neighbours of the 
Marcomani, with whom they played a leading part in the 
great barbarian coalition against Rome under Marcus Aurelius. 
— For the fate of Vaniuus' kingdom see XII. 29-30. 

480 



BOOK II. lAiii.-Lxiv. 

or a suppliant, but in one reminiscent of his earlier 
fortune: for "though many nations offered to 
welcome a king once so glorious, he had preferred 
the friendship of Rome." The Caesar replied that 
" he would have a safe and honoured seat in Italy, 
if he remained ; but, should his interests make a 
change ad\isable, he might depart as securely as 
he had come." He asserted, however, in the senate 
that " not PhiUp himself had been so grave a menace 
to Athens — not Pyrrhus nor Antiochus to the Roman 
people." The speech is still extant, in which he 
emphasized " the greatness of the man, the violence 
of the peoples beneath his rule, the nearness of the 
enemy to Italy, and the measures he had himself 
taken to destroy him." Maroboduus, in fact, was 
detained at Ravenna; where the possibility of his 
restoration was held out to the Suebians, whenever 
they became unruly: but for eighteen years he 
never set foot out of Italy and grew into an old man, 
his fame much tarnished by too great love of life. 
An identical disaster and a similar haven awaited 
Catualda, A short while afterwards, broken by the 
power of the Hermunduri^ and the generalship of 
Vibilius, he received asylum, and was sent to Forum 
Juliimi,* a colony of Narbonensian Gaul. Since the 
barbarian retainers of the two princes might, if 
intermingled with the native population, have dis- 
turbed the peace of the provinces, they were assigned 
a king in the person of Vannius, from the Quadian 
tribe ,^ and settled on the further bank of the Danube, 
between the rivers Marus and Cusus.* 

LXIV. As news had come at the same time that 

* Marus is the Alarch (Morava) ; Cusus, the Waag or Gran 
or Gusen. 

VOL. II. I 1 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

Germanico datum, decrevere patres ut Germanicus 
atque Drusus ovantes urbem introlirent. Struct! et 
arcus circum latera templi Martis Vltoris cum effigie 
Caesarum, laetiore Tiberio quia pacem sapientia 
firmaverat quam si helium per acies confecisset. 
Igitur Rhescuporim quoque, Thraeciae regem, astu 
adgreditur. Omnem earn nationem Rhoemetalces 
tenuerat; quo defuncto Augustus partem Thrae- 
ciim Rhescuporidi fratri eius, partem filio Cotyi 
permisit. In ea divisione arva et urbes et vicina 
Graecis Cotyi, quod incultum, ferox, adnexum hos- 
tibus, Rhescuporidi cessit : ipsorumque regum 
ingenia, illi mite et amoenum, huic atrox, aviduni 
et societatis impatiens erat. Sed primo subdola 
Concordia egere : mox Rhescuporis egredi finis, 
vertere in se Cotyi data et resistenti vim facere, 
cunctanter sub Augusto, quem auctorem utri usque 
regni, si sperneretur, vindicem metuebat. Enimvero 
audita mutatione principis immittere latronum glo- 
bos, excindere castella, causas bello. 

LXV. Nihil aeque Tiberium anxium habebat 
quam ne composita turbarentur. Deligit centurio- 
nem qui nuntiaret regibus ne armis disceptarent ; 

^ Built in the Forum of Augustus to commemorate liis 
vengeance on the slayers of the dictator Julius. For its 
military associations, cf. Suet. Aiig. 29; Ov. Fast. V. 567 sqq. ; 
and below III. 18 and XIII. 8. A few columns still remain. 

^ The country only became a province under Claudius 
(46 A.D.). Under Tiberius, with the exception of the southern 
coast on the Aegean (which belonged to the province of 
Macedonia) and the Thracian Chersonese (which was private 
imperial property), it was governed by semi-independent 
native princes. 

^ For his poetical attainments, see Ovid's appeal to him 
{ex P. II. 9) : Antipater is still more florid {Ardh. Pal. IV. 75, 
Zfjvl KoX MttoAAwvi koX 'Apei tskvov dvaKTwv EiKeXov kts). 
482 



i 



BOOK II. Lxiv.-Lxv. 

Germanicus had presented the throne of Armenia 
to Artaxias, the senate resolved that he and Drusus 
should receive an ovation upon entering the capital. 
In addition, arches bearing the effigy of the two 
Caesars were erected on each side of the temple of 
Mars the Avenger ; ^ while Tiberius showed more 
pleasure at having kept the peace by diplomacy 
than if he had concluded a war by a series of stricken 
fields. Accordingly, he now brought his cunning to 
bear against Rhescuporis, the king of Thrace.- The 
whole of that country had been subject to Rhoeme- 
talces ; after whose death Augustus conferred one 
half on his brother Rhescuporis, the other on his son 
Cotys. By this partition the agricultural lands, the 
towns, and the districts adjoining the Greek cities 
fell to Cotys ; the remainder, — a sterile soil, a wild 
population, with enemies at the verv"^ door, — to 
Rhescuporis. So, too, with the character of the 
kings : one was gentle and genial ; ■* the other, sullen, 
grasping, and intolerant of partnership. At the first, 
however, they acted with a deceptive show of con- 
cord: then Rhescuporis began to overstep his fron- 
tiers, to appropriate districts allotted to Cotys, and 
to meet opposition >Tith force : hesitantly during 
the lifetime of Augustus, whom he feared as the 
creator of both kingdoms and, if slighted, their 
avenger. The moment, however, that he heard of 
the change of sovereigns, he began to throw preda- 
tor)' bands across the border, to demolish fortresses, 
and to sow the seeds of war. 

LXV. Nothing gave Tiberius so much anxiety as 
that settlements once made should not be disturbed. 
He chose a centurion to notify the kings that there 
must be no appeal to arms; and Cotys at once dis- 

483 
ii2 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

statimque a Cotye dimissa sunt quae paraverat 
auxilia, Rhescuporis ficta modestia postulat eun- 
dem in locum coiretur: posse de controversiis 
conloquio transigi. Nee diu dubitatum de tempore, 
loco, dein condicionibus, cum alter facilitate, alter 
fraude cuncta inter se concederent acciperentque. 
Rhescuporis sanciendo, ut dictitabat, foederi con- 
vivium adicit, tractaque in multam noctem laetitia 
pel' epulas ac vinolentiam incautum Cotyn et, post- 
quam dolum intellexerat, sacra regni, eiusdcui 
faniiliac deos et hospitalis mensas obtestanteiu 
catenis onerat. Thraeciaque omni potitus scripsit 
ad Tiberium structas sibi insidias, praeventum insidi- 
atorem ; simul bellum adversus Bastarnas Scythas- 
que praetendens novis peditimi et equitiun copiis 
sese firmabat. Molliter rescriptum, si fraus abesset, 
posse eum innocentiae fidere, ceterum neque se 
neque senatum nisi cognita causa ius et iniuriam 
discreturos : proinde tradito Cotye veniret trans- 
ferretque invidiam criminis. 

LXVI. Eas litteras Latinius Pandusa ^ pro prae- 
tore Moesiae cum militibus quis Cotys traderetur 
in Thraeciam misit. Rhescuporis inter metum et 
iram cunctatus maluit patrati quam incepti faci- 
noris reus esse : occidi Cotyn iubet mortemque 

^ Pandusa Nipperdey : pandus. 

1 To those of Cotys. 
484 



BOOK II. Lxv.-Lxvi. 

banded the auxiliaries he had collected. Rhescu- 
poris, with assumed moderation, asked for a personal 
meeting : their differences, he said, could be adjusted 
verbally. Small difficulty was made about the time, 
the place, and, finally, the conditions, when one 
party through good nature, and the other through 
duplicity, conceded and accepted everything. To 
ratify the treaty, as he said, Rheseuporis added a 
banquet. \Mien the merriment had been prolonged 
far into the night with the help of good cheer and 
wine, he laid in irons the unsuspecting Q)tys, who, 
on discovering the treachery, appealed in vain to the 
sanctities of kingship, the deities of their common 
house, and the inmiunities of the hospitable board. 
Master of the whole of Thrace, he •«Tote to Tiberius 
that a plot had been laid for him, but he had fore- 
stalled the plotter : at the same time, under the 
pretext of a campaign against the Bastamae and 
Scythians, he strengthened himself by fresh levies 
of infantry and cavalry. A smooth letter came 
back: — " If his conscience was clear, he might trust 
to his innocence ; but neither the emperor nor 
the senate could discriminate between the rights 
and wrongs of the case unless they heard it. He 
had better, then, surrender Cotys, come to Rome, 
and shift the odium of the charge from his own 
shoulders."^ 

LX\T. The letter was despatched into Thrace by 
Latinius Pandusa, the propraetor of Moesia, together 
with a company of soldiers, who were to take over 
Cotys. After some fluctuation between fear and 
anger, Rheseuporis, deciding to stand his trial for the 
commission, not the inception, of a crime, ordered 
the execution of Cotys ; and promulgated a lie that 

485 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

sponte sumptam ementitur. Nee tamen Caesar 
placitas semel artes mutavifc, sed defuncto Pandusa,^ 
quein sibi infensum Rhescuporis arguebat, Pompo- 
nium Flaccum, veterem stipendiis et arta cum regc 
amicitia eoque accommodatiorem ad fallendum, 
ob id maxime Moesiae praefecit. 

LXVII. Flaccus in Thraeciam transgressus per 
ingentia promissa quamvis ambiguum et scelera sua 
reputantem perpulit ut praesidia Romana intraret. 
Circumdata hinc regi specie honoris valida manus, 
tribunique et centuriones monendo, suadendo, et 
quanto longius abscedebatur, apertiore custodia, 
postremo gnarum necessitatis in urbem traxere. 
Accusatus in senatu ab uxore Cotyis damnatur, 
ut procul regno teneretur. Thraecia in Rhoemetal- 
cen filium, quern paternis consiliis adversatum con- 
stabat, inque liberos Cotyis dividitur ; iisque nondum 
adultis Trebellenus Rufus praetura functus datur qui 
regnum interim tractaret, exemplo quo maiores 
M. Lepidum Ptolemaei liberis tutorem in Aegyptum 
miserant. Rhescuporis Alexandriam devectus atque 
illic fugam temptans an ficto crimine interficitur. 

LIX. M. Silano L. Norbano consuHbus Germa- 
nicus Aegyptum proficiscitur cognoscendae antiqui- 
tatis. Sed cura provinciae praetendebatur, leva- 

^ Pandusa Nipperdey : padusa. 

^ Scandal also accused him of being a boon-companion of 
Tiberius — omnium horarum amicus (Suet. Tib. 42). 

2 They did not, however, return with Rufus to Thrace, but 
were detained by Tiberius in Borne and educated in company 
with Caligula. 

^ Philometer and Physcon, sons of Ptolemy Epiphanes 
{ob. 181 B.C.). 

* Quod vero Alexandriam propter immensam et repentinam 
famem inconsulto se adissef, queMus est (Tiberius) in senatu 

486 



BOOK II. Lxvi.-Lix. 

his death had been self-inflicted. Still, the Caesar 
made no change in the methods he had once resolved 
upon, but, on the death of Pandusa — whom Rhescu- 
poris accused of animus against himself — appointed 
Pomponius Flaccus to the government of Moesia; 
chiefly because that veteran campaigner was a close 
friend of the king, and, as such, the better adapted 
to deceive him.^ 

LXVII. Flaccus crossed into Thrace, and by un- 
stinted promises induced Rhescuporis to enter the 
Roman lines, though he felt some hesitation, as he 
reflected on his guilt. He was then surrounded by 
a strong body-guard, ostensibly out of respect for 
his royalty ; and by advice, suasion, and a sur\'eillance 
which grew more obvious at each remove, till at last 
he realized the inevitable, the tribunes and cen- 
turions haled him to Rome. He was accused in the 
senate by Cotys' wife, and condemned to detention 
at a distance from his kingdom. Thrace was divided 
between his son Rhoemetalces, who was knowTi to 
have opposed his father's designs, and the children 
of Cotys. As these were not of mature age, they 
were put under the charge of Trebellenus Rufus,^ an 
ex-praetor, who was to manage the kingdom in the 
interregnum ; a parallel from an earlier generation 
being the despatch of Marcus Lepidus to Egypt as 
the guardian of Ptolemy's children.* Rhescuporis 
was deported to Alexandria, and perished in a 
genuine, or imputed, attempt at escape. 

LIX. In the consulate of Marcus Silanus and a.v.o. 772 . 
Lucius Norbanus, Germanicus set out for Egypt ^-^'-^^ 
to \-iew its antiquities, though the reason given was 
solicitude for the province.* He did, in fact, lower 

(Suet. Tib. 52). To the opening of the granaries there is an 
incidental allusion in Jos. c. Ap. IT. 5. 

487 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

vitque apertis horreis pretia frugum multaque in 
vulgus grata usurpavit : sine milite incedere, pedi- 
bus intectis et pari cum Graecis amictu, P. Sci- 
pionis aemulatione, quem eadem factitavisse apud 
Sicilian!, quamvis flagrante adhuc Poenorum bello. 
accepimus. Tiberius cultu habituque eius lenibus 
verbis perstricto, acerrime increpuit quod contra 
instituta Augusti non sponte principis Alexandriani 
introisset. Nam Augustus, inter alia dominationis 
arcana, vetitis nisi permissu ingredi senatoribus aut 
equitibus Romanis inlustribus, seposuit Aegyptum. 
ne fame urgeret Italiam quisquis eam provinciam 
claustraque terrae ac maris quamvis levi praesidio 
adversum ingentis exercitus insedisset. 

LX. Sed Germanicus nondum comperto profec- 
tionem eam incusari Nilo subvehebatur, orsus oppido 
a Canopo. Condidere id Spartani ob sepultuin illic 
rectorem navis Canopum, qiia tempestate Menelaus 
Graeciam repetens diversum ad mare tei'ramque 
Libyam deiectus est.^ Inde proximum amnis os dica- 
tum Herculi, quem indigenae ortum apud se et anti- 
quissimum perhibent eosque, qui postea pari vir- 

^ deiectus est J. Oronovius, Pichena : delectus. 

1 Liv. XXIX. l^adfin. 

2 Men of the tjrpe of Maecenas and Sallustius Crispus, 
possessed of senatorial census, but remaining within the 
equestrian order by choice and constituting a sort of noblesse 
de Vempire. 

' Egypt was never a province in the true sense of the term, 
but a private imperial domain, administered on behalf of the 
princeps, as representing its kings, by a praefectus drawn from 
the equestrian order. See Hist. I. 11 : — Aegyptum . . . iam 
inde a divo Augusta equites Romani obtinent loco regwm : itn 
visiim expedire provinciam aditu difficilem, annonae feciindmn 
. . . domi refinere. 



BOOK II. Lix.-LX. 

the price of com by opening the state granaries^ and 
adopted many practices popular with the multitude, 
walking without his guards, his feet sandalled and 
his dress identical with that of the Greeks : an 
imitation of Publius Scipio, who is recorded to have 
done the like in Sicily, although the Carthaginian 
war was still raging.^ Tiberius passed a leniently 
worded criticism on his dress and bearing, but 
rebuked him with extreme sharjjness for overstepping 
the prescription of Augustus by entering Alexandria 
without the imperial consent. For Augustus, among 
the other secrets of absolutism, by prohibiting all 
senators or Roman knights of the higher rank ^ from 
entering the country ^\^thout pemiission, kept Egypt 
isolated ; ^ in order that Italy might not be subjected 
to starvation by anyone who contrived, with however 
slight a garrison against armies however formidable, 
to occupy the province and the key-positions by land 
and sea.* 

LX. Not yet aware, however, that his itinerary 
was disapproved, Germanicus sailed up the Nile, 
starting from the town of Canopus — founded by the 
Spartans in memory of the helmsman so named, 
who was buried there in the days when Menelaus, 
homeward bound for Greece, was blown to a distant 
sea and the Libyan coast. From Canopus he \nsited 
the next of the river-mouths, which is sacred to 
Hercules ^ (an Egyptian bom, according to the local 
account, and the eldest of the name, the others of 

* Pharus by sea, Pelusium by land (Hirt. bdl. Alex. 26). 
For the dependence of Italy on foreign grain, see, for instance, 
III. 54 and XII. 43. 

' Tlie " Egyptian Hercules " is discussed at length by 
Herodotus (II, 43 sqq.) : Brugseh identified him with the 
Theban Khonsu-neferhetep, a son-deity. 

489 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

tute fuerint, in cognomentum eius adscitos; mox 
visit veterum Thebarum magna vestigia. Et mane- 
bant structis molibus litterae Aegyptiae, priorem 
opulentiam complexae : iussusque e senioribus 
sacerdotum patrium sermonem intei*pretari, refe- 
rebat habitasse quondam septingenta milia aetate 
militari atque eo cum exercitu regem Rhamsen 
T/ibya, Aethiopia Medisque et Persis et Bactriano 
ac Scytha potitum quasque terras Suri Armeniiquc 
et contigui Cappadoces colunt, inde Bithynum, hinf 
I>ycium ad mare imperio tenuisse. Legebantur et 
indicta gentibus tributa, pondus argenti et auri, 
numerus armorum equorumque et dona templis, 
ebur atque odores, quasque copias frumenti et om- 
nium utensilium quaeque natio penderet, baud minus 
magnifica quam nunc vi Parthorum aut potentia 
Romana iubentur. 

LXI. Ceterum Germanicus aliis quoque miraculis 
intendit animum, quorum praecipua Memnonis 
saxea effigies, ubi radiis solis icta est, vocalem sonum 
reddens, disiectasque inter et vix pervias arenas 
instar montium eductae pyramides certamine et ' 
opibus regum, lacusque effossa humo, superfluentis 
Nili receptacula ; atque alibi angustiae et profunda 
altitudo, nullis inquirentium spatiis pentrabilis. 
Exim ventum Elephantinen ac Syenen, claustra 

^ Uast, {Ta-) Apet; now the ruins of Kamak, Luxor, and 
Medinet-Habu. 

2 Ra-messu II (1333 B.C.); the semi-mythical Sesostris 
(Sesosis) of Herodotus and Diodorus : the list of his conquests 
is, of course, mainly fabulous. 

' The northern colossus of the two at Medinet-Habu, ; 
which represent Amen-hetep III {ca. 1450 B.C.). Another j 
imperial antiquary, in the person of Hadrian, has left his name 
on the statue : the " vocal sound " of the familiar story 
ceased when the colossus was restored by Severus. 

490 



BOOK II. Lx.-Lxi. 

later date and equal virtue being adopted into the 
title) ; then, the vast remains of ancient Thebes.^ 
On piles of masonry Egyptian letters still remained, 
embracing the tale of old magnificence, and one of 
the senior priests, ordered to interpret his native 
tongue, related that " once the city contained seven 
hundred thousand men of military age, and with 
that army King Rhamses,^ after conquering Libya 
and Ethiopia, the Medes and the Persians, the 
Bactrian and the Scyth, and the lands where the 
Syrians and Armenians and neighbouring Cappa- 
docians dwell, had ruled over all that lies between 
the Bithynian Sea on the one hand and the Lycian 
on the other." The tribute-lists of the subject 
nations were still legible : the weight of silver and 
gold, the number of weapons and horses, the temple- 
gifts of ivory and spices, together with the quantities 
of grain and other necessaries of life to be paid by the 
separate countries ; revenues no less imposing than 
those which are now exacted by the might of Parthia 
or by Roman power. 

LXI. But other marvels, too, arrested the atten- 
tion of Germanicus : in especial, the stone colossus of 
Memnon,' which emits a vocal sound when touched 
by the rays of the sun ; the pyramids reared 
mountain high by the wealth of emidous kings among 
wind-swept and all but impassable sands ; the ex- 
cavated lake which receives the overflow of Nile ; * 
and, elsewhere, narrow gorges and deeps imper^'ious 
to the plummet of the explorer. Then he proceeded 
to Elephantine and Syene,* once the limits of the 

* The Lake Moeris of Herodotna, south of Memphis ; now 
the Birket al-Karun in the Fayyum. _ 

* Assoaan ; Elephantine (termed Abu, i.e. " elephant," in 
the inscriptions) being an island opposite. 

491 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

olim Romani imperii, quod nunc rubruni ad mare 
patescit. 

LX\''IIL Per idem tempus Vonones, quern amo- 
tum in Ciliciam memoravi, corruptis custodibus 
efFugere ad Armenios, inde^ Albanos Heniochosque et 
consanguineum sibi regem Scytharum conatus est. 
Specie venandi omissis maritiniis locis avia saltuum 
petiit, mox pernicitate equi ad amnem Pyramum 
contendit, cuius pontes accolae ruperant audita 
regis fuga, neque vado penetrari poterat. Igitur 
in ripa fluminis a Vibio Frontone praefecto equitum 
vincitur ; mox Remmius evocatus, priori custodian 
regis adpositus, quasi per iram gladio eum transigit. 
\^nde maior fides conscientia sceleris et metu indicii 
mortem Vononi inlatam. 

LXIX. At Germanicus Aegypto remeans cuncta 
quae apud legiones aut urbes iusserat abolita vel 
in contrarium versa cognoscit. Hinc graves in Piso- 
nem contumeliae, nee minus acerba quae ab illo 
in Caesarem intentabantur,^ Dein Piso abire Suria 
statuit. Mox adversa Germanici valetudine detentus, 
ubi recreatum accepit votaque pro incolumitate 
solvebantur, admotas hostias, sacrificalera appara- 
tum, festam Antiochensium plebem per lictores 
proturbat. Tum Seleuciam degreditur, opperiens 
aegritudinem, quae rursum Germanico acciderat. 

^ inde Wopkena (dein Haase) : inde in. 
2 intentabantur Wurm : temptabantur. 



^ About 116 A.D., after the conquests of Trajan. 
^ Chap. 58. ' Caucasian tribes. 

* The upper reaches of the Djihan in Cilicia. 

* Seleucia Pieria {S. -q ev Tliepin), the port of Antioch ; 
Acts xiii. 1-4. 

492 



BOOK II. Lxi.-Lxix. 

Koinan Empire, which now ^ stretches to the Persian 
Gulf. 

LXVIII. About this time, \'onones — whose seques- 
tration in Ciheia I have mentioned ^ — attempted by 
bribing, his warders to escape into Armenia, then to 
the Albani,^ the Heniochi,^ and his relative, the king 
of Seythia. Leading the coast under the pretext of 
a hunting excursion, he made for the trackless forest 
country, and, availing himself of the speed of his 
horse, hurried to the river Pyramus ;* where, on the 
news of his escape, the bridges had been demolished 
by the people of the district : the stream itself was 
not fordable. He was arrested, therefore, on the 
river-bank by the cavalry prefect, Mbius Fronto ; 
and a little later, Remmius, a time-expired veteran 
who had been in command of his former guards, ran 
him through ^^ith his sword, as though in an out- 
burst of anger : a fact which makes it the more 
credible that conscious guilt and a fear of disclosures 
dictated the murder. 

LXIX, On the way from Egypt, Germanicus 
learned that all orders issued by him to the legions 
or the cities had been rescinded or reversed. Hence 
galling references to Piso : nor were the retorts directed 
by him against the prince less bitter. ITien Piso 
determined to leave Syria. Checked almost imme- 
diately by the ill-health of Germanicus, then hearing 
that he had rallied and that the vows made for his 
recovery were already being paid, he took his lictors 
and swept the streets clear of the victims at the 
altars, the apparatus of sacrifice, and the festive 
populace of Antioch. After this, he left for Seleucia,^ 
awaiting the outcome of the malady which had again 
attacked Germanicus. The cruel virulence of the 

493 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

Saevam vim moi-bi augebat persuasio veneni a 
Pisone accept! ; et reperiebantur solo ac parietibus 
erutae humanorum corporum reliquiae, carmina et 
devotiones et nomen Germanici plumbeis tabulis 
insculptum, semusti cineres ac tabo ^ obliti aliaque ' 
malefica quis creditur animas numinibus infei'nis 
sacrari, Simul missi a Pisone incusabantur ut 
valetudinis adversa rimantes. 

LXX. Ea Gernianico baud minus ira quam per 
metum accepta. Si limen obsideretur, si efFundendus 
spiritus sub oculis inimicorum foret, quid deindc 
miserrimae coniugi, quid infantibus liberis eventu- 
rum ? Lenta videri veneficia : festinare et urgerr, 
ut provinciam, ut legiones solus habeat. Sed noii 
usque eo defectum Germanicum, neque praemia 
caedis apud interfectorem mansura. Componit epis- 
tulas quis aniicitiam ei renuntiabat : addunt plerique 
iussum provincia decedere. Nee Piso moratus ultra 
navis solvit moderabaturque cursui quo propius 
regrederetur, si mors Germanici Suriam aperuisset. 

LXXL Caesar paulisper ad spem erectus, dein 
fesso corpore, ubi finis aderat, adsistentis amicos 
in hunc modum adloquitur : " Si fato concederem, 
iustus mihi dolor etiam adversus deos esset, quod 

* tabo Lipsius : tabe. 



^ The tablets were employed iu the ancient and almost 
ubiquitous rite of defixion (defixio, KaraSecn?), which consisted 
essentially in running a nail or needle through the effigy or 
the name of the person marked down for destruction. For an 
account of the procedure and the theory underlying it, the 
reader may be referred to F. B. Jevons in Anthropology and the 
Classics (p. 106 sqq.). 

" Half-burnt human remains from the funeral-pyre. 

3 Besides the infant Julia (chap. 54), Caligula was with him 

494 



BOOK II. Lxix.-Lxxi. 

disease was intensified by the patient's belief that 
Piso had given him poison; and it is a fact that 
explorations in the floor and walls brought to light__ 
the remains of human bodies, spells, cvu*ses, leaden_ 
tablets engraved 's%*ith the name Germanicus,^ charredj 
and blood-smeared ashes, ^ and others of the imple-" 
ments of \\-itchcraft by which it is believed the living 
soul can be devoted to the powers of the grave7~; 
At the same time, emissaries from Piso were accuseH' ' 
of keeping a too inquisitive watch upon the ravages 
of the disease. 

LXX. Of all this Germanicus heard with at least 
as much anger as alarm:— "If his threshold was 
besieged, if he must surrender his breath under the 
eye of his enemies, what must the future hold in 
store for his unhappy wife — for his infant children ? ^ 
Poison was considered too dilatory ; Piso was grow- 
ing urgent — imperative — to be left alone with his 
province and his legions ! But Germanicus had not 
fallen from himself so far, nor should the price of 
blood remain with the slayer ! " He composed a 
letter renouncing his friendship : the general account 
adds that he ordered him to leave the province. 
Delaying no longer, Piso weighed anchor, and regu- 
lated his speed so that the return journey should be 
the shorter, if Germanicus' death opened the door 
in Syria. 

LXX I. For a moment the Caesar revived to hope : 
then his powers flagged, and, Adth the end near, 
he addressed his friends at the bedside to the follow- 
ing effect: — "If I were dying by the course of 
nature, I should have a justified grievance against 
Heaven itself for snatching me from parents, children, 

III. 1, duobus cum liberisi Suet. Col. 10, comitatus est patrem 
it Syriaca ex'peditione). > 

495 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

me parentibus, liberis, patriae intra iuventani prae- 
maturo exitu raperent : nunc scelei'e Pisonis et Plan- 
einae interceptus ultimas preces pectoribus vestris 
relinquo : referatis patri ac fratri, quibus acerbita- 
tibus dilaceratus, quibus insidiis circumventus miser- 
rimam vitam pessima morte finierira. Si quos spes 
meae, si quos propinquus sanguis, etiam quos invi- 
dia erga viventem movebat, inlacrimabunt quon- 
dam florentem et tot bellorum superstitem muliebri 
fraude cecidisse. Erit vobis locus querendi apud 
senatum, invocandi leges. Non hoc praecipuum ami- 
corum munus est, prosequi defunctum ignavo questu, 
sed quae voluerit meminisse, quae mandaverit 
exequi. Flebunt Germanicum etiam ignoti : vindi- 
cabitis vos, si me potius quam fortunam meam fove- 
batis. Ostendite populo Romano divi Augusti 
neptem eandemque coniugem meam, numei'ate sex ] 
liberos. Misericordia cum accusantibus erit fingenti- 
busque scelesta mandata aut non credent homines 
aut non ignoscent." luravere amici dextram mori-- 
entis contingentes spiritum ante quam ultionera 
amiss uros. 

LXXII. Tum ad uxorem versus per memoriam 
sui, per communis hberos oravit exueret ferociam, 
saevienti fortunae summitteret animum, neu regressa 
in urbem aemulatione potentiae validiores inritaret. 
Haec palam et alia secreto, per quae ostendisse 
credebatur metum ex Tibcrio. Neque multo post 

496 



BOOK II. L.vxi.-L.\xn. 

and country, by a premature end in the prime of 
life. Now, cut off as I am by the villainy of Piso 
and Plancina, I leave my last prayers in the keeping 
of your breasts : report to my father and brother 
the agonies that rent me, the treasons that encom- 
passed me, before I finished the most pitiable of 
lives by the vilest of deaths. If any were ever 
stirred by the hopes I inspired, by kindred blood, — 
even by envy of me while I lived, — they must shed 
a tear to think that the once happy sur\ivor of so 
many wars has fallen by female treacher}-. You 
will have your opportunity to complain before the 
senate and to invoke the law. The prime duty of 
friends is not to follow their dead with passive 
laments, but to remember his wishes and carrv' out 
his commands. Strangers themselves will bewail Ger- 
manicus : you will avenge him — if you loved me, and 
not my fortune. Show to the Roman people the 
granddaughter of their deified Augustus, who was 
also my "VAife ; number her six children : pity will 
side with the accusers, and, if the murderers allege 
some infamous warrant, they will find no credence 
in men — or no forgiveness! " His friends touched 
the dying hand and swore to forgo life sooner than 
revenge. 

LXXII. Then he turned to his wife, and implored 
her " by the memory of himself, and for the sake of 
their common children, to strip herself of pride, to 
stoop her spirit before the rage of fortune, and 
never — if she returned to the capital — to irritate 
those stronger than herself by a competition for 
power." These words in public: in private there 
were others, in which he was believed to hint at 
danger from the side of Tiberius. Soon afterwards 

497 

VOL. 11. K K 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

extinguitur, ingenti luctu provinciae et circumia- 
centium populorum. Indoluere exterae nationes 
regesque : tanta illi comitas in socios, mansuetudo 
in hostis : visuque et auditu iuxta venerabilis, 
cum magnitudinem et gravitatem summae fortunae 
retineret, invidiam et adrogantiam effugerat. 

LXXIII. Funus sine imaginibus et pompa per 
laudes ac memoriam virtutmn eius celebre fuit. 
Et erant qui formam, aetatem,^ genus mortis, ob 
propinquitatem etiam locorum in quibus interiit, 
magni Alexandri fatis adaequarent. Nam utrumque 
corpore decoro, genere insigni, haud multum triginta 
annos egressum, suorum insidiis externas inter gentis 
occidisse : sed hune mitem erga amicos, modicum 
voluptatum, uno matrimonio, certis liberis egissc. 
iieque minus proeliatorem, etiam si temeritas afuerit 
praepeditusque sit perculsas tot victoriis Germanias 
servitio premere. Quod si solus arbiter rerum, si 
iure et nomine regio fuisset, tanto promptius adse- 
cuturum gloriam militiae quantum dementia, tem- 
perantia, ceteris bonis artibus praestitisset. Corpus 
antequam cremaretur nudatum in foro Antiochen- 
sium, qui locus sepulturae destinabatur, praetuleritne 
veneficii signa parum constitit ; nam ut quis miseri- . 
cordia in Germanicum et praesumpta suspicione 

^ formam, fortunam, aetatem, Johann Mueller. 

^ A circumstantial account is given in Suet. Cal. 5. 

^ Annum agens aetatis quarium et tricensimum diuturno 
morbo Antiochiae obiit (Germanicus), Suet. Cal. 1. Alexander 
was a year younger. 

3 The tales of the poisoning of Alexander may be read in 
Plut. Alex. 77 ; Arr. Anab. VII. 27 ; Q. Curt. X. 10 ; Just. XII. 
1 3 ; or — perhaps with equal profit — ^in the Pseudo-Callisthenes, 
Ill.j^re. 

498 



BOOK II. Lxxir.-Lxxiii. 

he passed away, to the boundless grief of the province 
and the adjacent peoples.^ Foreign nations and 
princes felt the pang — so great had been his coiutesy 
to allies, his humanity to enemies : in aspect and 
address ahke venerable, while he maintained the 
magnificence and dignity of exalted fortune, he had 
escaped en\'y and avoided arrogance. 

LXXIII. His funeral, devoid of ancestral effigies 
or procession, was distinguished by eulogies and recol- 
lections of his \lrtues. There were those who, con- 
sidering his personal appearance, his early age, and 
the circmnstances of his death, — to which they added 
the proximity of the region where he perished, — 
compared his decease with that of Alexander the 
Great: — "Each eminently handsome, of famous 
lineage, and in years not much exceeding thirty ,2 
had fallen among ahen races by the treason of their 
countr}Tnen.^ But the Roman had borne himself as 
one gentle to his friends, moderate in his pleasures, 
content vrith a single A^fe and the children of lawful 
wedlock. Nor was he less a man of the sword; 
though he lacked the other's temerity, and, when 
his numerous victories had beaten down the Ger- 
mam'es, was prohibited from making fast their 
bondage. But had he been the sole arbiter of 
affairs, of kingly authority and title, he would have 
overtaken the Greek in miUtary fame -with an ease 
proportioned to his superiority in clemency, self- 
command, and all other good qualities." The body, 
before cremation, was exposed in the forum of 
Antioch, the place -destined for the final rites. 
WTiether it bore marks of poisoning was disputable : 
for the indications were variously read, as pity and 
preconceived suspicion swayed the spectator to the 

499 
kk2 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

aut favore in Pisonem pronior, diversi interpreta- 
bantur. 

LXXIV. Consultatum inde inter legates quique 
alii senatorum aderant quisnam Suriae praeficeretur. 
Et ceteris modice nisis, inter \^ibium Marsum et 
Cn. Sentium diu quaesitum : dein Marsus seniori 
et acrius tendenti Sentio concessit. Isque infamem 
vcneficiis ea in provincia et Plancinae percaram 
nomine Martinam in urbem misit, postulantibus 
Vitellio ac Veranio ceterisque qui crimina et accusa- 
tionem tamquam adversus receptos iam reos instrue- 
bant. 

LXXV. At Agrippina, quamquam defessa luctu 
et corpore aegro, omnium tamen quae ultionem mora- 
rentur intolerans ascendit classem cum cineribus 
Germanici et liberis, miserantibus cunctis quod femina 
nobilitate princeps, pulcherrimo modo matrimonio, 
inter venerantis gratantisque aspici soUta, tunc 
feralis reliquias sinu ferret, incerta ultionis, anxia 
sui et infelici fecunditate fortunae totiens obnoxia. 
Pisonem interim apud Coum insulam nuntius adse- 
quitur excessisse Germanicum. Quo intemperanter 
accepto caedit victimas, adit templa, neque ipse gau- 
dium moderans et magis insolescente Plancina, quae 



^ All legati must have held at least the quaestorship, and 
were therefore senators. 

^ Consul sufEectus in 17 a. d.; proconsul of Africa for three 
years (27-30 a.d. ?) ; governor of Syria under Claudius. He 
appears again in the Annals at II. 79; IV. 56; VI. 47-8; 
XI. 10 ; and, since he had literary tastes (vetustis honor ibus et 
inlustris studiis, VI. 47), it has been conjectured that some of 
the details of Germanicus' last days may rest ultimately on 
his authority. 

^ Cn. Sentius Satuminus, consul suffectus in 4 a.d. A 

500 



BOOK II. Lxxiii.-Lxxv. 

side of Germanicus, or his predilections to that of 
Piso. 

LXXIV. A consultation followed between the 
legates and other senators ^ present, to determine 
the new governor of Syria. When the rest had 
made a half-hearted effort, the claims of Vibius 
Marsus ^ and Gnaeus Sentius ^ were canvassed at 
length ; then Marsus gave way to the superior age 
and greater keenness of his competitor. And he, on 
the demand of Vitellius, Veranius, and the others 
(who were drawing up the articles of indictment as 
though the case had already been entered), des- 
patched to Rome a woman by the name of Martina, 
infamous in the province for her poisonings and 
beloved of Plancina. 

LXXV. Agrippina herself, worn out with grief and 
physically ill, yet intolerant of every obstacle to 
revenge, went on board the fleet with her children 
and the ashes of Germanicus ; amid universal pity 
for this woman of sovereign lineage, her Avedded 
glory wont but yesterday to attract the gaze of 
awed and gratulatory crowds, now carrying in her 
bosom the relics of the dead, uncertain of her venge- 
ance, apprehensive for herself, cui'sed in that fruit- 
fulness which had borne but hostages to fortime. 

Piso, in the meantime, was overtaken at the isle 
of Cos * by a message that Germanicus was sped. 
He received it with transport. Victims were im- 
ee molated, temples visited; and, while his own joy 
knew no bounds, it was overshadowed by the inso- 
lence of Plancina, who had been in mourning for the 

fragmentary inscription proves that his appointment was 
recognized as valid by Tiberius. 

' Off the Carian coast, in the province of Asia. 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

luctum amissae sororis turn primum laeto cultu 
mutavit. 

LXXVI. Adfluebant centuriones monebantque 
prompta illi legionum studia : repeteret provinciam 
non iure ablatam et vacuam* Igitur quid agendum 
consultanti M. Piso filius properandum in urbem 
censebat : nihil adhuc inexpiabile admissum neque 
suspiciones imbecillas aut inania famae pertime- 
scenda. Discordiam erga Germanicum odio fortasse 
dignam, non poena; et adeptione provinciae satis 
factum inimicis. Quod si regrederetur obsistente 
Sentio civile bellum incipi ; nee duraturos in parti- 
bus centuriones militesque apud quos recens impc- 
ratoris sui memoria et penitus infixus in Caesares 
amor praevaleret. 

LXXVII. Contra Domitius Celer, ex intima eius 
amicitia, disseruit utendum eventu : Pisonem, non 
Sentium Suriae praepositum ; huic fascis et ius prae- 
toris, huic legiones datas. Si quid hostile ingruat, 
quem iustius arma oppositurum quam qui i legati 
auctoritatem et propria mandata acceperit ? Relin- 
quendum etiam rumoribus tempus quo senescant : 
plerumque innocentis recenti invidiae imparis. At 
si teneat exercitum, augeat viris, multa quae provi- 



^ quam qui Lipsius : qui. 






1 From the Syrian legions : men, presumably, who owed 
their promotion to Piso (see above, chap. 55). 



502 



BOOK II. LXXV.-LXXVII. 

loss of a sister, and now changed for the first time 
into the garb of joy. 

LXXVI. Centurions ^ came streaming in \A-ith their 
advice : — " The legions were eager to declare for 
him — he must return to the province illegally ^^Tested 
from him and now masterless." At a council, then, 
to decide what action should be taken, his son, 
Marcus Piso, held that he must hurry to the capital : — 
" So far, he had been guilty of nothing that was past 
expiation ; nor were feeble suspicions or unsubstantial 
rumours a matter for alarm. His difference with 
Germanicus might perhaps earn him a measiu*e of 
unpopularity, but not punishment ; while the for- 
feiture of his pro\-ince had satisfied his private 
enemies. To go back was to embark on a ci%il war, 
if Sentius resisted; nor would the centurions and 
private soldiers stand fast in his cause, since with 
them the yet recent memory of their commander, 
and their deep-seated affection for the Caesars, 
outweighed all else." 

LXXVTI. Domitius Celer, one of his most intimate 
associates, argued upon the other side: — " He had 
better profit by the occasion : not Sentius, but Piso, 
had been created governor of Syria : to him had 
been entrusted the symbols of magistracy, the prae- 
torian jurisdiction, — ay, and the legions. If hos- 
tihties threatened, who could more justly take the 
field than a man who had received the powers of a 
legate, in addition to private instructions ? Besides, 
rumours ought to be allowed an interval in which 
to grow stale : innocence too often was unable to 
face the first blast of unpopularity. But if he kept 
the army and augmented his jx)wers, chance would 
give a favourable turn to much that could not at 

503 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

deri non possint fortuito in melius casura. " An fes- 
tinamus cum Germanici cineribus adpellere, ut te 
inauditum et indefensum planctus Agrippinae ac 
vulgus imperitum primo rumore rapiant ? Est tibi 
Augustae conscientia, est Caesaris favor, sed in 
occulto ; et perisse Germanicum nulli iactantius 
maerent quam qui maxime laetantur." 

lyXXVIII. Haud magna mole Piso promptus fero- 
cibus in sententiam trahitur missisque ad Tiberium 
epistulis incusat Germanicum luxus et superbiae ; 
seque pulsum, ut locus rebus novis patefieret, curam 
exercitus eadem fide qua tenuerit repetivisse. Simul 
Domitium impositum triremi vitare litorum oram 
praeterque insulas alto ^ mari pergere in Suriam 
iubet. Concurrentis desertores per manipulos com- 
ponit, armat lixas traiectisque in continentem navi- 
bus vexillum tironum in Suriam euntium intercipit, 
regulis Cilicum ut se auxiliis iuvarent scribit, haud 
ignavo ad ministeria belli iuvene Pisone, quamquam 
suscipiendum bellum abnuisset. 

LXXIX. Igitur Oram Lyeiae ac Pamphyliae prae- 
legentes, obviis navibus quae Agrippinam vehebant, 
utrimque infensi arma primo expediere : dein mutua 
formidine non ultra iui'gium processum est, Mar- 
susque Vibius nuntiavit Pisoni Romam ad dicendam 
^ alto Lipsius : lato. 

^ Since the death of Philopator (chap. 42) there were two 
of these principalities remaining : Olba, north of Pompeiopolis ; 
and Trachea, the western part of Cilicia, then held by Archelaus 
of Cappadoeia. 



BOOK II. LXXVII.-LXXIX. 

present be foreseen. Or," he continued, •' are we 
racing to make the harbour at the same moment as 
the ashes of Germanicus, so that with the first breath 
of scandal you may be swept to your doom, unheard 
and undefended, by a sobbing wife and a fatuous 
crowd? You have the complicity of Augusta, the 
favour of the Caesar, — but only in private ; and 
none more ostentatiously bewail the fate of Ger- 
manicus than they who most rejoice at it." 

LXXVIII. There was no great difficulty in con- 
verting Piso, with his taste for audacity, to this 
opinion; and, in a letter forwarded to Tiberius, he 
accused Germanicus of luxury and arrogance : as 
for himself, " he had been expelled so as to leave 
scope for a revolution, but had now gone to resimie 
charge of the army, with the same loyalty as he 
had shown when he was at its head." At the same 
time, he placed Domitius on a warship, with orders 
to avoid the coasting-route and to make straight 
for Syria, past the islands and through the high 
seas. As deserters flocked in, he organized them by 
maniples ; armed the camp-followers ; then, crossing 
with his fleet to the mainland, intercepted a body 
of recruits bound for Syria, and wrote to the Cilician 
kinglets ^ to support him with auxiliaries — the young 
Piso assisting actively in the preparations for war, 
though he had protested against engaging in it. 

LXXIX. As they were skirting, then, the coast 
of Lycia and Pamphylia, they were met by the 
squadron convoying Agi'ippina. On each side the 
hostility was such that at first they prepared for 
action : then, owing to their mutual fears, the affair 
went no further than high words ; in the course of 
which Vibius Marsus summoned Piso to return to 

505 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

causam veniret. Ille eludens respondit adfuturum 
ubi praetor qui de veneficiis quaereret reo atque 
accusatoribus diem prodixisset. Interim Domitius 
Laodiciam urbem Syriae adpulsus, cum hiberna 
sextae legionis peteret, quod earn maxime novis 
eonsiliis idoneam rebatur, a Pacuvio legato prae- 
venitur. Id Sentius Pisoni per litteras aperit monet- 
que ne oastra corruptoribus, ne provinciam bello 
temptet. Quosque Germanici memores aut inimicis 
eius adversos cognoverat, contrahit, magnitudinem 
imperatoris identidem ingerens et rem publicam 
annis peti; ducitque validam manum et proelio 
paratam. 

LXXX. Nee Piso, quamquam coepta secus cade- 
bant, omisit tutissima e praesentibus, sed castellum 
Ciliciae munitum admodum, cui nomen Celenderis, 
occupat ; nam admixtis desertoribus et tirone nuper 
intercepto suisque et Plancinae servitiis auxilia 
Cilicum quae reguli miserant in numerum legionis 
composuerat. Caesarisque se legatum testabatur 
provincia quam is dedisset areeri, non a legionibus 
(earum quippe accitu venire), sed a Sentio privatum 
odium falsis criminibus tegente. Consisterent in 
aeie, non pugnaturis militibus ubi Pisonem ab ipsis 



^ Marsus' citation had no legal force, as it was only when 
the president of the court had formally received the charge 
that a day (normally the tenth from the date) was fixed for 
the appearance of the parties. The true insolence of the 
answer lies, however, in the tacit assumption that the case 
had no features so exceptional as to necessitate a change from 
the usual procedure. 

2 The modem Ladikieh (Latakia), nearly opposite the j 
north-eastern extremity of Cyprus : the other Syrian town of J 
the name lay near Lebanon. 

506 



BOOK II. LXXIX.-LXXX. 

Rome and enter his defence. He gave a sarcastic 
answer that he would be there when the praetor 
with cognizance of poisoning cases had notified a 
date to the accusers and accused.^ 

Meanwhile, Domitius had landed at the Syrian 
town of Laodicea.2 He was making for the winter 
quarters of the sixth legion, which he thought the best 
adapted for his revolutionary designs, when he was 
forestalled by the commanding officer, Pacuvius. 
Sentius notified Piso of the incident by letter, and 
warned him to make no attempt upon the camp by 
liis agents or upon the province by his arms. He 
then collected the men whom he knew to be attached 
to the memory of Germanicus, — or, at least, opposed 
to his enemies, — impressed upon them the greatness 
of the emperor and the fact that this was an armed 
attack on the state, then took the field at the head 
of a powerful force ready for battle. 

LXXX. Piso, too, though his enterprise was 
developing awkwardly, adopted the safest course in 
the circiunstances by seizing an extremely strong 
jiost in Cilicia, named Celenderis.' For by an admix- 
ture of the deserters, the recently intercepted 
recruits, and his own and Plancina's slaves, he had 
arranged the Cilician auxiliaries, sent by the petty 
kings, in what was nmnerieally a legion. He called 
them to witness that " he, the representative of the 
Caesar, was being excluded from the pro\'ince which 
the Caesar had given, not by the legions — it was at 
their invitation he came I — but by Sentius, who was 
veiling his private hatred under a tissue of calumnies. 
They must take their stand in line of battle : the 
soldiers would never strike, when they had seen 

* Now Kilindria (the Turkish Tchilindere). 

507 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

parentem quondam appellatum, si iure ageretur, 
potiorem, si armis, non invalidum vidissent. Turn 
pro munimentis castelli manipulos explicat eolle 
arduo et derupto ; nam cetera mari cinguntur. Con- 
tra veterani ordinibus ac subsidiis instruct! : hinc 
militum, inde locorum asperitas, sed non animus, 
non spes, ne tela quidem nisi agrestia aut subitum 
in 1 usum properata. Vt venere in manus, non ultra 
dubitatum quam dum Romanae cohortes in aequum 
eniterentur : vertunt terga Cilices seque castello 
elaudunt. 

LXXXI. Interim Piso classem haud procul oppe- 
rientem adpugnare frustra temptavit; regressusque 
et pro muris, modo semet adflictando, modo singulos 
nomine eiens, praemiis vocans, seditionem coepta- 
bat : 2 adeoque commoverat ut signifer legionis ^ 
sextae signum ad eum transtulerit, cum Sentius occa- 
nere oornua tubasque et peti aggerem, erigi scalas 
iussit ac promptissimum quemque succedere, alios 
tormentis hastas, saxa et faces ingerere. Tandem 
victa pertinacia Piso oravit ut traditis armis maneret 
in castello, dum Caesar cui Suriam permitteret .con- 
sulitur. Non receptae condiciones neo alind quam 
naves et tutum in urbem iter concessum est. 

^ subitum in Doederlein : subitum. 

2 coeptabat : adeoque . . . transtulerit, cum JarJcson : 
coeptabat, adeoque . . . transtulerit. Turn. 
* legionis edd, : legionis vocans. 

^ The legion in which Piso's influence was strongest (see 
above, chap. 79). 

;;o8 



BOOK II. LXXX.-LXXXI. 

Piso; Avhom once they called Father; who, if the 
verdict went by jxistice. was the superior ; and, if by 
amis, not wholly powerless." He then deployed his 
maniples in front of the fortress lines on a high and 
precipitous hill (the rest of the position is secured 
by the sea) : confronting them stood the veterans, 
dra^^•n up in centuries and with reserves. On the one 
side was a grim soldier^^ ; on the other, a position 
not less grim, — but no courage, no hope, not even 
weapons, apart from rustic spears or makeshifts 
impro\ised to meet the sudden demand. \Mien the 
collision came, doubt only lasted until the Roman 
cohorts scrambled up to level ground : the Cilicians 
took to their heels and barricaded themselves in the 
fortress. 

LXXXI. In the meantime, Piso attempted, with- 
out effect, to attack the fleet, which was waiting at 
some httle distance. On his return, he took his 
station on the walls : and, now beating his breast, 
now sununoning particular soldiers by name and 
weighting the call ^vith a bribe, endeavoured to 
create a mutiny. He had, indeed, produced enough 
impression for one ensign of the sixth ^ legion to come 
over with his standard, when Sentius ordered the 
comets and trumpets to sound, the materials for a 
movmd to be collected, ladders raised; the readiest 
to go forward to the escalade, others to discharge 
spears, stones, and firebrands, from the mihtary 
engines. At last Piso's obstinacy was broken, and 
he applied for permission to hand over his arms and 
remain in the fort while the Caesar's award of the 
SvTian governorship was being ascertained. The 
terms were not accepted, and the only concessions 
made were a grant of ships and a safe-conduct to 
the capital. 

509 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

LXXXII. At Romae, postquam Germanici vale- 
tudo percrebuit cunctaque ut ex longinquo aucta 
in deterius adferebantur, dolor, ira, et erumpebant 
questus. Ideo nimirnni in extremas terras rele- 
gatum, ideo Pisoni permissam provinciam; hoc 
egisse secretos Augustae cum Plancina sermones. 
Vera prorsus de Druso seniores locutos : displicere 
regnantibus civilia filiorum ingenia, neque ob aliud 
interceptos quam quia populum Romanum aequo 
iure complecti reddita libertate agitaverint. Hos 
vulgi sermones audita mors adeo incendit ut ante 
edictum magistratuimi, ante senatus consultuni 
sumpto iustitio desererentur fora, clauderentur do- 
mus. Passim silentia et gemitus, nihil compositum 
in ostentationem ; et, quamquam neque insignibus 
lugentium abstinerent, altius animis maerebant. 
Forte negotiatores vivente adhuc Germanico Suria 
egressi laetiora de valetudine eius attulere. Statim 
credita, statim vulgata sunt : ut quisque obvius? 
quamvis leviter audita in alios atque illi in plures 
cumulata gaudio transferunt. Cursant per urbem, 
moliuntur templorum foris ; iuvat credulitatem nox 

^ Drusus was the step-son of Augustus, Germanicus the 
adopted son of Tiberius. 

" For the belief that Drusus designed to restore the republic, 
see I. 33 and Suet. Claud. 1. He died in Germany from the 
consequences of a riding accident (Liv. epit. 140; voaoy nvi, 
D. Cass. LV. 1) : the absurd and inevitable story of his 
poisoning by order of Augustus is mentioned and rejected by 
Suetonius, I.e. 

^ Suetonius is more explicit (Ca?. 6) : — Passim cumluminibus 
el victimis in Capitolium concursum est ac paeiie revohae templi 

510 : 



i 



BOOK II. Lxxxii. 

LXXXII. But at Rome, when the failure of Ger- 
manicus' health became current knowledge, and 
every circumstance was reported with the aggrava- 
tions iisual in news that has travelled far, all was 
grief and indignation. A storm of complaints burst 
out : — " So for this he had been relegated to the 
ends of earth ; for this Piso had received a province ; 
and this had been the drift of Augusta's colloquies 
with Plancina ! It was the mere truth, as the elder 
men said of Drusus, that sons with democratic 
tempers were not pleasing to fathers on a throne ^ ; 
and both had been cut off for no other reason than 
because they designed to restore the age of freedom 
and take the Roman people into a partnership of 
equal rights." ^ The announcement of his death 
inflamed this popular gossip to such a degree that 
before any edict of the magistrates, before any 
resolution of the senate, civic life was suspended, 
the courts deserted, houses closed. It was a town 
of sighs and silences, with none of the studied adver- 
tisements of sorrow ; and, while there was no absten- 
tion from the ordinary tokens of bereavement, the 
deeper mourning was carried at the heart. Accident- 
ally, a party of merchants, who had left Syria while 
Germanicus was yet alive, brought a more cheerful 
accoiuit of his condition. It was instantly believed 
and instantly disseminated. No man met another 
without proclaiming his unauthenticated news; and 
by him it was passed to more, with supplements 
dictated by his joy. Crowds were running in the 
streets and forcing temple-doors.* CreduUty throve 

jores, ne quid gestienlis voia reddere moraretur. He quotes the 
verse with which tJiey woke Tiberius : — Salca Roma, salva 
■patria, salvias est Germanicus. 

5" 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

et promptior inter tenebras adfirmatio. Nee obstitit 
falsis Tiberius donee tempore ac spatio vanescerent : 
et populus quasi rursum ereptum acrius doluit. 

LXXXIII. Honores ut quis amore in Germanicum 
aut ingenio validus reperti decretique : ut nomen 
eius Saliari carmine caneretur ; sedes curules sacer- 
dotum Augustalium locis superque eas querceae 
coronae statuerentur ; hides circensis eburna effigies 
praeiret neve quis flamen aut augur in locum Ger- 
manici nisi gentis luliae crearetur. Arcus additi 
Romae et apud ripam Rheni et in monte Syria e 
Amano cum inscriptione rerum gestarum ac mortem 
ob rem publicam obisse. Sepulchrum Antiochiae 
ubi crematus, tribunal Epidaphnae quo in loco vitam 
finierat. Statuarum locorumve in quis coleretur ^ 
baud facile quis niimerum inierit. Cum censeretur 
clipeus auro et magnitudine insignis inter auctores 
eloquentiae, adseveravit Tiberius solitum paremque 
ceteris dicaturum : neque enim eloquentiam fortuna 
discerni et satis inlustre si veteres inter scriptores 
haberetur. Equester ordo cuneum Germanici appel- 

^ coleretur Beroaldus : colerentur. 



^ In addition to lays in honour of the gods severally, this 
primitive and unintelligible hymn {Saliorum carmina vix 
sacerdotibus suis satis intellecta. Quint. I. 6, 40) contained 
carmina in universes sermones composita, in which the name of 
Augustus had already been inserted. 

2 See I. 54. 

^ In company with the images of the gods. 

* Angustalis. 

^ 'O (xkv yap ^Afiavos . • • TrepiKXeUi, rov 'laaiKov koXttov : 
aTTovTa Strab. 535 : Nipperdey gives the modern name asi 
Akma Dagh. | 

' Actually the suburb was Daphne, the city 'Avriox^ta rj em | 
Ad<j>vr] : a rather curious inaccuracy in view of the great celebrity i 
of Daphne (see, for instance, Munro, Aetna, pp. 40-43). 

5" 



BOOK II. LXXXII.-LXAAIII. 

■ — it was night, and affirmation is boldest in the dark. 
Nor did Tiberius check the fictions, but left them to 
cbe out with the passage of time ; and the people 
mourned with added bitterness for what seemed a 
second bereavement. 

LXXXIII. Affection and ingenuity vied in dis- 
covering and decreeing honoiu-s to Germanicus : his 
name was to be chanted in the Saliar Hymn ; ^ curule 
I chairs surmounted by oaken crowTos were to be set 
for him wherever the Augustal priests- had right of 
place ; his effigy in ivory was to lead the procession 
at the Circus Games,^ and no flamen* or augur, imless 
of the Julian house, was to be created in his room. 
Arches were added, at Rome, on the Rhine bank, 
and on the Syrian mountain of Amanus,^ with an 
inscription recording his achievements and the fact 
that he had died for his country. There was to be a 

I sepulchre in Antioch, where he had been cremated ; 
a funeral monument in Epidaphne,^ the suburb in 
which he had breathed his last. His statues, and 
the localities in which his cult was to be practised, 
it would be difficult to emunerate. When it was 
proposed to give him a gold medalUon, as remarkable 
cii for the size as for the material, among the portraits 
'■■'. of the classic orators,' Tiberius declared that he would 
dedicate one himself " of the customary type, and 
in keeping with the rest : for eloquence was not 
measured by fortune, and it was distinction enough 
if he ranked with the old masters." The equestrian 
order renamed the so-called " junior section " in 

I ' In the Palatine Library (see above, chap. 37). The 
pipeM? was a disk, usually of bronze, with the portrait en- 
mtaved on it : Pliny actually derives the word from yXiidtw 
JH.N. XXXV. 3]. 

VOL. II. LL 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

lavit qui iuniorum dicebatur, instituitque uti turmae 
idibus luliis imagiiiem eiiis sequerentm*. Pleraque 
manent : quaedam statim omissa sunt aut vetustas 
oblitteravit. 

LXXXIV. Ceterum recenti adhuc maestitia soror 
Germanici Livia, nupta Druso, duos virilis sexus 
simul enixa est. Quod rarum laetumque etiam niodi- 
cis penatibus tanto gaudio principem adfecit, ut 
non temperaverit quin iactaret apud patres nulli 
ante Romanorum eiusdem fastigii viro geminam stir- 
pem editam : nam cuncta, etiam fortuita, ad gloriam 
vertebat. Sed populo tali in tempore id quoque 
dolorem tulit, tamquam auctus liberis Di'usus domum 
Germanici magis urgeret. 

LXXXV. Eodem anno, gravibus senatus decretis 
libido femiinarum coercita eautumque ne quaestum 
corpore faceret cui avus aut pater aut maritus eques 
Romanus fuisset. Nam Vistilia, praetoria familia 
genita, licentiam stupri apud aedilis vulgaverat, more 
inter veteres recepto, qui satis poenarum adversum 
impudicas in ipsa professione flagitii credebant. 
Exactum et a Titidio Labeone Vistiliae marito cur 
in uxore delicti manifesta ultionem legis omisisset. 
Atque illo praetendente sexaginta dies ad consul- 
tandum datos necdum praeterisse, satis visum del 

^ The date of the annual travectio, or review of the equites 
Romani equo publico ; long obsolete, but revived by Augustus 
(Suet. Aiig. 38). 

" Pliny {H.N. XXXV. 4) describes him as recently dead at 
an advanced age; as having held the proconsulate of Gallia 






BOOK II. LXXXIII.-LXXXV. 

their part of the theatre after Gennanicus, and 
ruled that on the fifteenth of July ^ the cavalcade 
should ride behind his portrait. Many of these com- 
pliments remain : others were discontinued imme- 
diately, or have lapsed with the years. 

LXXXI\'. \Miile the pubUc mourning was still 
fresh, Germanicus' sister, Livia, who had married 
Drusus, was delivered of twin sons. The event, a 
rare felicity even in modest households, affected the 
emperor with so much pleasure that he could not 
refrain from boasting to the Fathers that never 
before had twins been bom to a Roman of the same 
eminence : for he converted everything, accidents 
included, into material for self-praise. To the people, 
however, coming when it did, even this incident 
was a regret ; as though the increase in Drusus' 
family was a further misfortune for the house of 
Gennanicus. 

LXXXV. In the same year, bounds were set to 
female profligacy by stringent resolutions of the 
senate ; and it was laid down that no woman should 
trade in her body, if her father, grandfather, or 
husband had been a Roman knight. For Vistilia, 
the daughter of a praetorian family, had advertised 
her venality on the aediles' list — the normal pro- 
cedure among our ancestors, who imagined the 
unchaste to be sufficiently punished by the avowal 
of their infamy. Her husband, Titidius Labeo,- was 
also required to explain why, in view of his wife's 
manifest guilt, he had not invoked the penalty of 
the law. As he pleaded that sixty days, not yet 
elapsed, were allowed for deliberation, it was thought 

Narboneusis ; aud as being an enthusiastic amateur of painting 
— sed ea re-s inri-su et contumdiae eriU. 

ll2 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

\'istilia statuere ; eaque in insulam Seriphon abdita 
est. Actum et de sacris Aegyptiis ludaicisque pel- 
lendis factumque patrum consultum ut quattuor 
milia libertini generis ea superstitione infecta quis 
idonea aetas in insulam Sardinian! veherentur, coer- 
cendis illic latrociniis et, si ob gravitatem caeli 
interissent, vile damnum ; ceteri cederent Italia nisi 
certam ante diem profanos ritus exuissent. 

LXXXVI. Post quae rettulit Caesar capiendam 
virginem in locum Occiae, quae septem et quinqua- 
ginta per annos summa sanctimonia Vestalibus sacris 
praesederat ; egitque grates Fonteio Agrippae et 
Domitio Pollioni quod offerendo filias de officio in 
rem publicara certarent. Praelata est PoUionis filia, 
non ob aliud quam quod mater eius in eodem coniugio 
manebat ; nam Agrippa discidio domum imminuerat. 
Et Caesar quamvis posthabitam decies sestertii dote 
solatus est. 

LXXXVII. Saevitiam annonae incusante plebe 
statuit frumento pretium quod emptor penderet, 
binosque nummos se additurum negotiatoribus in 
singulos modios. Neque tamen ob ea parentis patriae 
delatum et antea vocabulum adsumpsit, acerbeque 
increpuit eos qui divinas occupationes ipsumque 



1 A proverbially insignificant and barren island (now 
Serp?io[s]) in the Cyclades between Cythnus and Siphnus. 

^ The scandals which roused Tiberius to action may be read 
in Jos. A.J. XVIII. 3, 4-5. 

3 The eligible age was from six to ten years, the vows being 
obligatory for thirty. 



BOOK II. Lxxxv.-Lxxxvn. 

enough to pass sentence on Vistilia, who was removed 
to the island of Seriphos.^ — Another debate dealt 
with the proscription of the Egj'ptian and Jewish 
rites,- and a senatorial edict directed that four 
thousand descendants of enfranchised slaves, tainted 
with that superstition and suitable in point of age, 
were to be shipped to Sardinia and there employed in 
suppressing brigandage : •' if they succumbed to the 
pestilential climate, it was a cheap loss." The rest 
had orders to leave Italy, unless they had renounced 
their impious ceremonial by a given date. 

LXXXV'I. The emperor then moved for the ap- 
pointment of a Virgin to replace Occia, who for 
fifty-seven years had presided over the rites of Vesta 
with vmblemished purity : Fonteius Agrippa and 
Domitius PolUo he thanked for the public-spirited 
rivalry which had led them to proffer their own 
daughters. Pollio's child ^ was preferred, for no 
reason save that her mother was still living with the 
same husband, while Agrippa's divorce had impaired 
the credit of his household. As a solatium to the 
rejected candidate, the Caesar presented her with a 
doMTy of a million sesterces,* 

LXXXVII. As the commons protested against the 
appalling deamess of com, he fixed a definite price 
to be paid by the buyer, and himself guaranteed the 
seller a subsidy of two sesterces the peck. Yet he 
would not on that score accept the title " Father of 
his Country," which had indeed been offered pre- 
viously ; 5 and he administered a severe reprimand to 
those who had termed his occupations " divine," 

* " Though a large, not an unusual dowry," Mayor on 
Juv, X. 335. He quotes, inter alia. Sen. Cons, ad Helv. 12, 6, 
pantomimae deciens sestertio nvbunt. * I. 72. 

517 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

dominum dixerant, Vnde angusta et lubrica oratio 
sub principe qui libertatem metuebat, adulationem 
oderat. 

liXXXVIII. Reperio apud scriptores senatoresque 
eorundem temporum Adgandestrii principis Chatto- 
rum lectas in senatu litteras, quibus mortem Arminii 
promittebat si patrandae neci venenum mitteretur, 
responsumque esse non fraude neque occultis, sed 
palam et armatum populum Romanura hostis suos 
ulcisci. Qua gloria aequabat se Tiberius priscis 
imperatoribus qui venenum in Pyrrhum regem 
vetuerant prodiderantque. Ceterum Arminius abs- 
cedentibus Romanis et pulso Maroboduo regnum 
adfectans libertatem popularium adversam habuit, 
petitusque armis cum varia fortuna certaret, dolo 
propinquorum cecidit. Liberator baud dubie Ger- 
maniae et qui non primordia populi Romani, sicut alii 
reges dueesque, sed florentissimum imperium laces- 
sierit, proeliis ambiguus, bello non victus, septem 
et triginta annos vitae, duodecim potentiae explevit, 
oaniturque adhuc barbaras apud gentis, Graeeorum 
annalibus ignotus, qui sua tantum mirantur, Romanis 
baud perinde Celebris, dum Vetera extollimus recen- 
tium incuriosi. 

^ By his own definition (D. Cass. LVII. 8), to his slaves he 
■was " dominus " ; to his soldiers, " imperator " ; to the rest of 
the world, " princeps." — For his occupations he preferred 
" laborious " rather than " sacred " as an adjective (Suet. 
Tib. 27). Diocletian introduced the " dominate." 

- Since his power must be reckoned from the defeat of Varus, 
liis death would fall in 21 a.d. 



518 



BOOK II. Lxxxvii.-Lwxvni. 

and himself "Lord."^ The speaker, consequently, 
had to walk a strait and slippery road under a 
prince who feared liberty and detested flattery. 

LXXXVIII. I find from contemporary authors, 
who were members of the senate, that a letter was 
read in the curia from the Chattan chief Adgan- 
destrius, promising the death of Arminius, if poison 
were sent to do the work; to which the reply went 
back that " it was not by treason nor in the dark 
but openly and in arms that the Roman people 
took vengeance on their foes " : a high saying 
intended to place Tiberius on a level with the old 
commanders who prohibited, and disclosed, the offer 
to poison King Pyrrhus. Arminius himself, en- 
couraged by the gradual retirement of the Romans 
and the expulsion of Maroboduus, began to aim at 
kingship, and found himself in conflict ^vith the inde- 
pendent temper of his countrymen. He was attacked 
by arms, and, while defending himself with chequered 
results, fell by the treachery of his relatives. Un- 
doubtedly the liberator of Germany ; a man who, not 
in its infancy as captains and kings before him, but 
in the high noon of its sovereignty, threw do\\ii the 
challenge to the Roman nation, in battle with 
ambiguous results, in war \\-ithout defeat ; he com- 
pleted thirty-seven years of life, twelve of power, ^ 
and to this day is sung in tribal lays, though he is an 
unkno^^•n being to the Greek historians, who admire 
only the histoiy of Greece, and receives less than 
his due from us of Rome, who glorify the ancient 
days and show little concern for our own. 



519 



BOOK 111 



LIBER III 

I. Nihil intermissa navigatione hibei*ni maris 
Agrippina Coreyram insulam advehitur, litora Cala- 
briae contra sitam. Illio paucos dies componendo 
animo insumit, violenta luctu et nescia tolerandi. 
Interim, adventu eius audito, intimus quisque ami- 
corum et plerique militares, ut quique sub Germanico 
stipendia fecerant, multique etiam ignoti vicinis e 
municipiis, pars officium in principem rati, plures 
illos secuti, ruere ad oppidum Brundisium, quod 
naviganti celerrimum fidissiraumque adpulsu erat. 
Atque ubi primum ex alto visa classis, complentur 
non modo portus et proxima mai'i,^ sed moenia ac 
tecta, quaque longissime prospectari poterat, maeren- 
tium turba et rogitantium inter se silentione an 
voce aliqua egredientem exciperent. Neque satis 
constabat quid pro tempore foret, cum classis paula- 
tim successit, non alacri, ut adsolet, remigio, sed 
cunctis ad tristitiam compositis. Postquam duobus 
cum liberis, feralem urnam tenens, egressa navi 
defixit oculos, idem omnium gemitus ; neque dis- 
cerneres proximos alienos, virorum feminarumve 

^ marl Muretus : maris. 



^ Since Agrippina's voyage had begun in the previous year 
(II. 75; 79), the narrative passes to 20 a.d. without the 
normal preliminary mention of the new consuls. 

2 Corfu. 

522 



BOOK III 

I. Without ^ onoe pausing in her navigation of the a.v.c 773 
\\nntry sea, Agrippina reached the island of Corcyra ^ ^■^- -"^ 
opposite the Calabrian coast. Theire, frantic M-ith 
grief and unschooled to suffering, she spent a few 
days in regaining her composure. Meanwhile, at 
news of her advent, there was a rush of people to 
Brundisium, as the nearest and safest landing-place 
for the voyager. Every intimate friend was present ; 
numbers of militarj' men, each Mith his record of 
service under Germanicus ; even many strangers 
from the local towns, some thinking it respectful to 
the emperor, the majority following their example. 
The moment her squadron was sighted in the offing, 
not only the harbour and the points nearest the sea 
but the city -walls and house-roofs, all posts, indeed, 
commanding a Avide enough prospect, were thi-onged 
by a crowd of mourners, who asked each other if 
they ought to receive her landing in silence, or with 
some audible expression of feeling. It was not yet 
clear to them what the occasion required, when little 
by little the flotilla drew to shore, not \nth the 
accustomed eager oarsmanship, but all with an 
ordered melancholy. When, clasping the fatal urn, 
she left the ship ^ith her two children, and fixed her 
eyes on the ground, a single groan arose from the 
whole multitude ; nor could a distinction be traced 
between the relative and the stranger, the wailings of 
women or of men : only, the attendants of Agrippina. 

523 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

planctus, nisi quod comitatum Agrippinae longo 
maerore fessuin obvii et recentes in dolore anteibant. 

II. Miserat duas praetorias cohortis Caesar, addito 
lit magistratus Calabriae Apulique et Campani 
suprema erga memoriani filii sui munia ^ fungerentur. 
Igitur tribunorum centurionumque umeris oineres 
portabantur; praecedebant incompta signa, versi 
fasces ; atque ubi colonias transgrederentur, atrata 
plebes, trabeati equites pro opibus loci vestem, 
odores aliaqiie funerum sollemnia creraabant. Etiam 
quorum diversa oppida, tamen obvii et victimas 
atque aras dis manibus statuentes lacrimis et con- 
clamationibus dolorem testabantur. Drusus Tarra- 
einam progressus est cum Claudio fratre liberisque 
Germanici, qui in urbe fuerant. Consules M. Vale- 
rius et M.2 Aurelius (iam enim magistratum occe- 
perant) et senatus ac magna pars populi viam com- 
plevere, disiecti et ut ouique libitum flentes ; aberat 
quippe adulatio, gnaris omnibus lactam Tiberio Ger- 
manici mortem male dissimulari. 

III. Tiberius atque Augusta publico abstinuere, 
inferius maiestate sua rati si palam lamentarentur, 
an n^ omnium oculis vultum eorum serutantibus 
falsi intellegerentur. Matrem Antoniam non apud 

^ nmnia Bitter : munera. ^ M. Panvinius : c. 

^ The purple-striped mantle {irabea), worn on such occasions 
as the annual travectio (II. 83, note). 

2 Formerly Anxur, now Terracina ; an old coastal town of 
Latium on the Appian Way, some 60 miles from Rome. 

* Son of the Valerius Messala (Messalinus) of I. 8. 

524 



BOOK III. i.-iii. 

exhausted by long-dra\\-n sorrow, were less demon- 
strative than the more recent moiimers by whom 
they were met. 

II. The Caesar had sent two cohorts of the Guard ; 
with further orders that the magistrates of Calabria, 
Apuha, and Campania should render the last offices 
to the memor\' of his son. And so his ashes were 
borne on the shoulders of tribunes and centurions : 
before him the standards went unadorned, the Axes 
reversed; while, at every colony they passed, the 
Cijmmons in black and the knights in official purple ^ 
bunied raiment, perfumes, and other of the cus- 
tomary funeral tributes, in proportion to the resources 
of the district. Even the inhabitants of outlymg 
towns met the procession, devoted their victims and 
altars to the departed spirit, and attested their grief 
with tears and cries. Drusus came up to Tarracina,'^ 
with Germanicus' brother Claudius and the children 
who had been left in the capital. The consuls, 
Marcus \'alerius^ and Marcus AureUus* (who had 
already begun their magistracy), the senate, and a 
considerable part of the people, filled the road, 
standing in scattered parties and weeping as they 
pleased : for of adulation there was none, since all 
men knew that Tiberius was with difficulty dis- 
sembling his joy at the death of Germanicus. 

III. He and Augusta abstained from any appear- 
ance in pubhc, either holding it below their majesty 
to sorrow in the sight of men, or apprehending that, 
if all eyes perused their looks, they might find 
hypocrisy legible. I fail to discover, either in the 

* Identified with the Cotta Messalinos of U. 32; a friend 
of Ovid; brother of Valerius Messala, and therefore uncle of 
his colleague. 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

auctores rerum. non diurna actorum scriptura, reperio 
ullo insigni officio functam, cum super Agrippinam 
et Drusuni et Claudium ceteri quoque consanguinei 
nominatim perscripti sint, seu valetudine praepedie- 
batur seu victus luctu animus magnitudinem mali 
perferre visu non toleravit. Facilius crediderim 
Tiberio et Augustae ^ qui domo non excedebant, 
cohibitam, ut par maeror et matris exemplo avia 
quoque et patruus attineri viderentur. 

IV. Dies quo reliquiae tumulo Augusti infere- 
bantur modo per silentium vastus, modo plorati- 
bus inquies ; plena urbis itinera, conlueentes per 
campum Martis faces. Illic miles cum armis, sine 
insignibus magistratus, populus per tribus concidisse 
rem publicam, nihil spei reliquum clamitabant, 
promptius apertiusque quam ut meminisse imperi- 
tantium crederes. Nihil tamen Tiberium magis 
penetravit quam studia hominum accensa in Agrip- 
pinam, cum decus patriae, solum Augusti sanguinem, 
unicum antiquitatis specimen appellarent versique 
ad caelum ac deos integram illi subolem ac super- 
stitem iniquorum precarentur. 

V. Fuere qui publici funeris pompam requirerent 

^ Augustae Kritz, Doederlein : Augusta. 

^ An official newspaper dating, like the acta senatus, from 
Caesar's consulship of 59 b.c. (Suet. Jul. 20). The style and 
matter may be fairly well conjectured from the amusing 
parody in Petr. Sat. 53, coupled with the disdainful verdict of 
Tacitus (XIII. 31 init.). 

* The younger of the two daughters of Antony by Augustus' 
sister, Octavia ; born about 36 B.C. ; wife of Drusus, the brother 
of Tiberius ; survived till the reign of Caligula. 

526 



BOOK III. iii.-v. 

historians or in the government journals,^ that the 
prince's mother, Antonia,^ bore any striking part in 
the ceremonies, although, in addition to Agrippina 
and Drusus and Claudius, his other blood-relations 
are recorded by name. Ill-health may have been 
the obstacle : or a spirit broken with grief may have 
shrunk from facing the visible evidence of its great 
affliction ; but I find it more credible that Tiberius 
and Augusta, Avho did not quit the palace, kept her 
there, in order to give the impression of a parity of 
sorrow — of a grandmother and uncle detained at 
home in loyalty to the example of a mother. 

IV. The day on which the remains were consigned 
to the mausoleum of Augustus ^ was alternately a 
desolation of silence and a tumioil of laments. The 
city-streets were full, the Campus Martins alight 
with torches. There the soldier in harness,* the 
magistrate lacking his insignia, the burgher in his 
tribe, iterated the cry that " the commonwealth had 
fallen and hope was dead " too freely and too openly 
for it to be credible that they remembered their 
governors. Nothing, however, sank deeper into 
Tiberius' breast than the kindling of men's enthusiasm 
for Agrippina — " the glory of her country, the last 
scion of Augustus, the peerless pattern of ancient 
virtue." So they styled her ; and, turning to heaven 
and the gods, prayed for the continuance of her 
issue — " and might they survive their persecutors ! " 

V. There were those who missed the pageantry 

» See I. 8, with the note. 

* On ordinary occasions the Guards in the capital wore the 
toga, not the mihtary sagum, and canied sword and spear, but 
neither shield, helmet, nor breastplate. Other allusions to 
the custom may be seen at XII. 30, XVI. 27, Hist. I. 38 and 80. 

527 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

compararentque quae in Drusum patrem Germanici 
honora et magnifica Augustus fecisset. Ipsum quippe 
asperrimo hiemis Ticinum usque progressum neque 
abscedentem a corpore simul urbem intravisse ; cir- 
cumfusas lecto Claudiorum Liviorumque ^ imagines ; 
defletum in foro, laudatum pro rostris, cuncta a 
maioi-ibus reperta aut quae posteri invenerint cumu- 
lata : at Germanieo ne solitos (juidem et cuicumque 
nobili debitos honor es contigisse. Sane corpus ob 
longinquitatcni itineruni externis terris quoquo modo 
crematum; sed tanto plura decora mox tribui par 
fuisse quanto prima fors negavisset. Non fratrem 
nisi unius diei via, non patruum saltern porta tenus 
obvium. Vbi ilia veterum instituta, propositam ^ 
toro effigiem, meditata ad memoriam virtutis camiina 
et laudationes et lacrimas vel doloris imitamenta ? 

VI. Gnarum id Tiberio fuit ; utque premeret vulgi 
sermones, monuit edicto multos inlustrium Romano- 
rum ob rem publicam obisse, neminem tam flagranti 
desiderio celebratum. Idque et sibi et cunctis egre- 
gium, si modus adiceretur. Non enim eadem decora 
principibus viris et imperatori populo quae modicis 

^ Liviorumque Lipsius : luliorumque. 
* propositam Muretus : praepositam. 

^ The modern Pavia. — Drusus died in Germany (9 B.C.), 
and Tiberius posted on a celebrated journey of 200 miles, 
tribus vehiculis, to his death-bed (D. Cass. LV. 2; Plin. H.N. 
VII. 20; Sen. Cons, ad Pol. 34). The corpse was met by 
Augustus at Ticinum and borne to Rome per municipiorum 
coloniarumque primores (Suet. Claud. 1). 

2 Insertus est (Tiberius) et Livionim familiae, adoptato in 
earn materno avo. Suet. Tib. 3. 

' The oration in the Forum was delivered by Tiberius 
himself; Augustus spoke in the Flaminian Circus (D. Cass. 
LV. 2). 

528 



BOOK III. v.-vi. 

of a state-funeral and compared the elaborate 
tributes rendered by Augustus to Germanicus' father, 
Drusus : — "In the bitterest of the winter, the 
sovereign had gone in person as far as Ticinum,^ and, 
never stirring from the corpse, had entered the capital 
along with it. The bier had been surrounded with 
the family effigies of the Claudian and Livian^ houses ; 
the dead had been mourned in the Forum,^ eulogized 
upon the Rostra ; every distinction which our ances- 
tors had discovered, or their posterity invented, was 
showered upon him. But to Germanicus had fallen 
not even the honours due to every and any noble I 
Granted that the length of the journey was a reason 
for cremating his body, no matter how, on foreign 
soil, it would only have been justice that he should 
have been accorded all the more distinctions later, 
because chance had denied them at the outset. His 
brother^ had gone no more than one day's journey 
to meet him ; his uncle not even to the gate. WTiere 
were those usages of the ancients — the image placed 
at the head of the couch, the set poems to the 
memory of departed virtue, the panegyrics, the tears, 
the imitations (if no more) of sorrow? " 

Yl. All this Tiberius knew; and, to repress the 
comments of the crowd, he reminded them in a 
manifesto that " many illustrious Romans had died 
for their country, but none had been honoured with 
such a fervour of regret : a compliment highly valued 
by himself and by all, if only moderation were 
observed. For the same conduct was not becoming 
to ordinary families or communities and to leaders 

* Since the movements of Claudius were negligible, this must 
refer to Gtermanicus' brother by adoption, Drusus. With 
'patruum (instead of patrem) Tacitus reverts from the adoptive 
to the natural relationship. 

VOL. II. MM 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

domibus aut civitatibus. Convenisse recenti dolori 
luctum et ex maei'ore solaeia; sed referendum iam 
animum ad firmitudinem, ut quondam divus lulius 
amissa unica filia, ut divus Augustus ereptis nepoti- 
bus abstruserint tristitiam. Nil opus vetustioribus 
exemplis, quotiens populus Romanus cladis exerci- 
tuum, interitum dueum, funditus amissas nobilis 
familias eonstanter tulerit. Principes mortales, rem 
publicam aeternam esse. Proin repeterent sollemnia, 
et quia ludorum Megalesium spectaeulum suberat, 
etiam voluptates resumerent. 

VII. Turn exuto iustitio reditum ad munia et 
Drusus Illyricos ad exercitus profectus est, erectis 
omnium animis spe petendae ^ e Pisone ultionis et 
crebro questu, quod vagus interim per amoena Asiae 
atque Achaiae adroganti et subdola mora scelerum 
probationes subverteret. Nam vulgatum erat mis- 
sam, ut dixi, a Cn. Sentio famosam veneficiis Marti- 
nam subita morte Brundisii extinetam, venenumque 
nodo crinium ejus occultatum nee ulla in corpore 
signa sumpti exitii reperta. 

VIII. At Piso, praemisso in urbem filio datisque 

^ animis spe petendae Freinsheim : animis petendae. 



^ Daughter of Caesar and Cornelia : born 8^82 B.C. ; 
married to Pompey in 59 B.C. ; died five years later. For the 
circumstances of her death, see Plut. Pomp. 53; and for her 
father's stoicism, Cic. cul Q. Jr. III. 8, 3. 

2 Gaius and Lucius Caesar (see above I. 3). 

^ April 4—10. The Games, mainly theatrical, were in 
honour of the Great Mother, Cybele : the well-known story 
of their institution towards the end of the Hannibalian War 
will be found in Liv. XXIX. 10-14. 

* II. 74. 

53° 



BOOK III. vi.-viii. 

of the state and to an imperial people. Mourning 
and the solace of tears had suited the first throes of 
their affliction ; but now they must recall their minds 
to fortitude, as once the deified Julius at the loss of 
his only daughter,^ and the deified Augustus at the 
taking of his grandchildren,- had thrust aside their 
anguish. There was no need to show by earlier 
instances how often the Roman people had borne 
unshaken the slaughter of armies, the death of 
generals, the complete annihilation of historic houses. 
Statesmen were mortal, the state eternal. Let them 
return, therefore, to their usual occupations and — 
as the Megalesian Games ^ would soon be exhibited — ■ 
resume even their pleasures I " 

VII. The period of mourning now closed; men 
went back to their avocations, and Drusus left for 
the armies of Illyricum. All minds were elated at 
the prospect of calling Piso to account, and com- 
plaints were frequent that, during the interval, he 
should be roaming amid the landscapes of Asia and 
Achaia, destroying the evidences of his guilt by 
presumptuous and fraudulent delays. For news had 
spread that Martina — the notorious poisoner, de- 
spatched to Rome, as I have said,* by Gnaeus Sentius 
— had suddenly yielded up the ghost at Brundisium ; 
that poison had been concealed in a knot of her hair ; 
and that no indications of self-murder had been 
found on the body.^ 

VIII. Meanwhile, Piso, sending his son in advance 

* The gossips reasoned that Piso had, beyond doabt, forced 
Martina to poison herself : but, if her drugs could kill without 
leaving a trace on the body, then obviously it was idle to 
debate, in the case of Germanicus, whether the corpse praeiulerii 
veneficii eigna (II. 73 jin.). 

M M 2 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

mandatis per quae principem molliret, ad Drusum 
pergit, quern haud fratris interitu trucem quam re- 
moto aemulo aequiorem sibi sperabat. Tiberius, quo 
integrum iudicium ostentaret, exceptum comiter 
iuvenem sueta erga filios familiarum nobilis libera- 
litate auget. Drusus Pisoni, si vera forent quae 
iacerentur, praecipuum in dolore suum locum respon- 
dit; sed malle falsa et inania nee cuiquam mortem 
Germanici exitiosam esse. Haec palam et vitato 
omni secreto; neque dubitabantur praescripta ei 
a Tiberio, cum incallidus alioqui et faeilis iuvcnta 
senilibus tum artibus uteretur. 

IX. Piso, Delmatico mari tramisso relictisque apud 
Anconam navibus, per Picenum ac mox Flaminiam 
viam adsequitur legionem, quae e Pannonia in ur- 
bem, dein praesidio Africae ducebatur; eaque res 
agitata rumoribus ut in agmine atque itinere crebro 
se militibus ostentavisset. Ab Narnia, vitandae sus- 
picionis an quia pavidis consilia in incerto sunt, 
N^re ac mox Tiberi devectus auxit vulgi iras, quia 
navem tumulo Caesarum adpulerat dieque et ripa 
frequenti, magno clientium agmine ipse, feminarum 

1 The Adriatic. 

* The great highway running from Rome to Ariminum 
(Rimini). Piso strikes westward through northern Picenum, 
joins the via Flaminia in Umbria, and follows it in company 
with the legion as far as Narnia (the ancient Nequinum, now 
Narni). Then, to avoid the appearance of tampering with the 
soldiers, he descends the Nar (Nera) by boat untU its con- 
fluence with the Tiber, and so proceeds by water to Rome. 

^ As an additional precaution against Tacfarinas. The 
legion {IX. Hispana) was rather prematurely withdraAvn by 
Tiberius (IV. 23). 



BOOK III. vni.-i.v. 

to the capital Avith a message designed to pacify the 
emperor, bent his way to Drusus ; whom he hoped 
to find not so much angered at a brother's death as 
reconciled to himself by the suppression of a rival. 
To make a display of impartiality, Tiberius gave the 
young envoy a ci\'il reception, and treated him with 
the liberality he was in the habit of sho^\-ing to the 
cadets of noble families. To the father, Drusus' 
answer was that, " if the current imputations were 
true, his ovm resentment must rank foremost of all ; 
but he preferred to believe they were false and 
unfounded, and that Germanicus' death involved 
the doom of no one." The reply was given in public, 
all secrecy ha^'ing been avoided ; and no doubts 
were felt that the phrasing was dictated by Tiberius, 
when a youth, who had otherwise the simple and 
pliant character of his years, resorted for the nonce 
to the disingenuities of age. 

IX, After crossing the sea of Dalmatia,i Piso left 
his vessels at Ancona, and, travelling through 
Picenium, then by the Flaminian Road,^ came up 
with a legion marching from Pannonia to Rome, to 
join later on the garrison in Africa : ^ an incident 
which led to much gossip and discussion as to the 
manner in which he had kept shoAving himself to the 
soldiers on the march and by the wayside. From 
Namia, either to avoid suspicion or because the 
plans of a frightened man are apt to be inconsistent, 
he sailed do^\-n the Nar, then down the Tiber, and 
added to the exasperation of the populace by bring- 
ing his vessel to shore at the mausoleum of the 
Caesars. It was a busy part of the day and of the 
river-side ; yet he with a marching column of 
retainers, and^Plancina Mnth her escort of women, 

533 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

comitatu Plancina et vultu alacres incessere. Fuit 
inter inritamenta invidiae domus foro imminens festa 
ornatu conviviunKjue et epulae et celebritate loci 
nihil occultum. 

X. Postera die Fulcinius Trio Pisonem apud con- 
sules postulavit. Contra Vitellius ac Veranius cete- 
rique Germanicum comitati tendebant, nullas esse 
partis Trioni ; neque se accusatores, sed rerum indices 
et testis mandata Germanici perlaturos. Ille dimissa 
eius causae delatione, ut prior em vitam accusaret 
obtinuit petitumque est a principe cognitionem 
exciperet. Quod ne reus quidem abnuebat, studia 
populi et patrum metuens ; contra Tiberium sper- 
nendis rumoribus validum et conscientiae matris 
innexum esse ; veraque aut in deterius credita iudice 
ab uno facilius discerni, odium et invidiam apud 
multos valei'e. Haud fallebat Tiberium moles eogni- 
tionis quaque ipse fama distraheretur. Igitur paucis 
familiarium adhibitis minas accusantium et hinc 
preces audit integvamque causam ad senatum 
remittit. 

XI. Atque interim Drusus rediens Illyrieo, quam- 
quam patres censuissent ob receptum Marol)oduum 

1 See II. 28 v/ith the note. 

- Before the senate. — The case might have gone : (a) before 
a praetor and jury; (b) before the consuls and senate; 
((') before a private court of the emperor, assisted by an in- 
formal board of advisers. Actually, it comes before Tiberius, 
who naturally decides to transfer the responsibility to the 
senate. 

^ Since the " achievements " must have fallen in 18 a.d., 
either Tacitus has slipped or the words priore aestale are 

534 



BOOK III. ix.-xT. 

proceeded beaming on their way. There were other 
irritants also ; among them, festal decorations upon 
his mansion looming above the forum ; guests and a 
dinner ; and, in that crowded quarter, full publicity 
for everything. 

X. Next day, Fulcinius Trio^ applied to the consuls 
for authority to prosecute Piso.- He was opposed 
by Vitellius, V'eranius, and the other members of 
Germanicus' suite : Trio, they ai-gued, had no stand- 
ing in the case ; nor were they themselves acting as 
accusers, but as deponents and witnesses to the 
facts, carrying out the instructions of the prince. 
Waiving the indictment on this head. Trio secured 
the right of arraigning Piso's previous career, and 
the emperor was asked to take over the trial. To 
this even the defendant made no demur, as he 
distrusted the prepossessions of the people and 
senate ; while Tiberius, he knew, had the strength 
of mind to despise scandal, and was involved in his 
mother's accession to the plot. Besides, tnith was 
more easily distinguished from accepted calumny 
by one judge ; where there were more, odium and 
malevolence carried weight. The difficulties of the 
inquiry, and the rumours busy with his ovn\ chai*acter, 
were not lost upon Tiberius. Therefore with a few- 
intimate friends for assessors, he heard the threats 
of the accusers, the prayers of the accused ; and 
remitted the case in its integrity to the senate. 

XI. In the interv'al, Drusus returned from Illyri- 
cum. The Fathers had decreed him an ovation at 
his entry, in return for the submission of Maroboduus 
and his achievements of the preceding summer ;^ but 

spurious, as they almost certainly are at the opening of chap. 
20. 

535 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

et res priore aestate ^ gestas ut ovans iniret, prolate 
honore urbem intravit. Post quae reo L.^ Arrun- 
tium, P. Vinicium,^ Asinium Galium, Aeserninum 
Marcellum, Sex. Pompeium patronos petenti iisque 
diversa excusantibus M'.* Lepidus et L. Piso et 
Livineius Regulus adfuere, arrecta omni civitate, 
quanta fides amicis Germanici, quae fiducia reo ; 
satin cohiberet ac premeret sensus suos Tiberius. 
Haud ^ alias intentior populus plus sibi in principem 
ocoultae vocis aut suspicacis silentii permisit. 

XII, Die senatus Caesar orationera habuit medi- 
tate temperamento. Patris sui legatum atque ami- 
cum Pisonem fuisse adiutoremque Germanico datum 
a se, auctore senatu, rebus apud Orientem adminis- 
trandis. Illic contumacia et certaminibus asperasset 
iuvenem exituque eius laetatus esset an scelere 
extinxisset, integris animis diiudicandum. " Nam 
si legatus officii terminos, obsequium erga impera- 
torem exuit eiusdemque morte et luctu meo laetatus 
est, odero seponamque a domo mea et privatas ini- 
micitias non vi ^ principis ulciscar ; sin facinus in 
euiuscumque mortalium nece vindicandum dete- 

^ [priore aestate] Nipperdey. 

2 L. N. Faber : T. 

^ P. Vinicium Borghesi : fulnicium. 

* M'. Lipsius : M. 

* haud Acidalius : is haud. 

* non vi Murefus (non Becker) : novi. 

^ As the governor {legatus pro praetore Augusti) of Hither 
Spain : see chap, 13. 



BOOK III. xi.-xiT. 

he postponed the honour and made his way into the 
capital privately. 

As lus advocates the defendant now specified 
Lucixis Arruntius, Publius Vinicius, Asinius Gallus, 
Marcellus Aeseminus and Sextus Pompeius. They 
declined on various pretexts, and Manius Lepidus, 
Lucius Piso, and Livineius Regulus came to his 
support. The whole nation was eagerly specu- 
lating upon the loyalty of Germanicus' friends, the 
criminal's grounds for confidence, the chances that 
Tiberius would be able to keep his sentiments 
effectively under lock and key. Never had the 
populace been more keenly on the alert : never had 
it shown more freedom of whispered criticism and 
suspicious silence towards the emperor. 

XII, On the day the senate met, the Caesar spoke 
with calculated moderation. " Piso," he said, '*' had 
been his father's lieutenant^ and friend : and he him- 
self, at the instance of the senate, had assigned him 
to Germanicus as his coadjutor in the administra- 
tion of the East. Whether, in that position, he had 
merelv exasperated the youthful prince by pen*ersity 
and contentiousness, and then betrayed pleasure at 
his death, or whether he had actually cut short his 
days' by crime, was a question they must determine 
with open minds. For " (he proceeded) " if the 
case is one of a subordinate who, after ignoring the 
limits of his commission and the deference owed to 
his superior, has exulted over that superior's death 
and my own sorrow, I shall renounce his friendship, 
banish him from my house, and redress my grievances 
as a man without invoking my powers as a sovereign. 
But if murder comes to light — and it would call for 
vengeance, were the victim the meanest of mankind 

537 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

gitur, vos vero et liberos Germanici et nos parentes 
iustis solaciis adficite. Simulque illud reputate, tur- 
bide et seditiose tractaverit exercitus Piso, quaesita 
sint per ambitionem studia militum, armis repetita 
provincia, an falsa haec in maius vulgaverint aecusa- 
tores, quorum ego nimiis stiidiis iure suscenseo. 
Nam quo pertinuit nudare corpus et contrectandum 
vulgi oculis permittere differrique etiam per externos 
tamquam veneno interceptus esset, si incerta adhuc 
ista et scrutanda sunt ? Defleo equidem filium 
meum semperque deflebo ; sed neque reum prohibeo 
quo minus cuncta proferat, quibus innocentia eius 
sublevari aut, si qua fuit iniquitas Germanici, coargui 
possit, vosque oro ne, quia dolori meo causa conexa 
est, obiecta crimina pro adprobatis accipiatis. Si 
quos propinquus sanguis aut fides sua patronos dedit, 
quantum quisque eloquentia et eura valet, iuvate 
periclitantem ; ad eundem laborem, eandem con- 
stantiam accusatores hortor. Id solum Germanieo 
super leges praestiterimus, quod in curia potius quam 
in foro, apud senatum quam apud indices de morte 
eius anquiritur; cetera pari modestia tractentur. 
Nemo Drusi lacrimas, nemo maestitiam meam spec- 
tet, nee si qua in nos adversa finguntur." 



^ Tiberins, therefore, endorses the view of Piso (IT. 70, 
note). 

538 



BOOK III. xn. 

— then do ijou see to it that proper requital is 
made to the children of Germanicus and to us, his 
parents. At the same time, consider the following 
points: — Did Piso's treatment of the armies make 
for disorder and sedition? Did he employ corrupt 
means to win the favour of the private soldiers? 
Did he lev}- war in order to reposssess himself of the 
province ? Or are these charges falsehoods, pub- 
lished with enlargements by the accusers ; at whose 
zealous indiscretions I myself feel some justifiable 
anger? For what was the object in stripping the 
corpse naked and exposing it to the degrading con- 
tact of the vulgar gaze ? Or in diffusing the report — 
and among foreigners — that he fell a victim to poison, 
if that is an issue still uncertain and in need of 
scrutiny? True, I lament my son, and shall lament 
him always. But far from hampering the defendant 
in adducing every circumstance which may tend to 
relieve his innocence or to convict Germanicus of 
injustice (if injustice there was), I beseech you that, 
even though the case is bound up with a personal 
sorrow of my o\\t\. you wWX not therefore receive \\\e 
assertion of guilt as a proof of guilt. If kinship or a 
sense of loyalty has made some of you his advocates, 
then let each, with all the eloquence and devotion 
he can command, aid hirn in his hour of danger. 
To the accusers I commend a similar industry, a 
similar constancy. The only extra-legal concession 
we shall be found to have made to Germanicus is 
this, that the inquiry into his death is being held 
not in the Forum but in the Curia, not before a 
bench of judges but the senate.^ I^t the rest of 
the proceedings show the like restraint : let none 
regard the tears of Drusus, none my own sadness, 
nor yet any fictions invented to onr discredit." 

539 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

XIII. Exim biduum criminibus obiciendis statuitur 
iitque sex dierum spatio interiecto reus per triduum 
defenderetur. Turn Fulcinius Vetera et inania ordi- 
tur, ambitiose avareque habitam Hispaniam; quod 
neque convictum noxae reo si recentia purgaret, 
neque defensum absolutioni erat si teneretur maiovi- 
bus flagitiis. Post quern ^ Sei*vaeus et Veranius et 
Vitellius consimili studio et multa eloquentia Vitellius 
obieceve odio Germanici et rerum novarum studio 
Pisonem vulgus militum per licentiam et sociorum 
iniurias eo usque conrupisse ut parens legionum a 
deterrimis appellaretur ; contra in optimum quem- 
que, maxime in comites et amicos Germanici sae- 
visse ; postremo ipsum devotionibus et veneno pere- 
misse ; sacra hinc et immolationes nefandas ipsius 
atque Plancinae, petitam armis rem publioam, utque 
reus agi posset, acie victum, 

XIV. Defensio in ceteris trepidavit ; nam neque 
ambitionem militarem neque provinciam pessimo 
cuique obnoxiam, ne contumelias quidem adversum 
imperatorem infitiari poterat : solum veneni crimen 
visus est diluisse, quod ne accusatores quidem satis 
firmabant, in convivio Germanici, cum super eum 

^ post quern Ehenanus (post quae Baiter) : postq. 



1 The speech had been read by the elder Pliny (H.N. XI. 
187). 

2 At Cos (II. 15 fin.). 

3 At Celenderis (II. 80). 

540 



BOOK III. xiii.-xiv. 

XIII. It was then resolved to allow two days for 
the formulation of the charges : after an interval of 
six days, the case for the defence would occupy 
another three. Fulcinius opened with an old and 
futile tale of intrigue and cupidity diuing Piso's 
administration of Spain. The allegations, if estab- 
lished, could do the defendant no harm, should he 
dispel the more recent charge : if they were rebutted, 
there was still no acquittal, if he was found guilty 
of the graver delinquencies. Serraeus, Veranius, and 
\'itelHus followed — with equal fervour ; and VitelUus 
with considerable eloquence.^ " Through his hatred 
of Germanicus and his zeal for anarchy," so ran 
the indictment, " Piso had, by relaxing discipline 
and permitting the maltreatment of the provincials, 
so far corrupted the common soldiers that among 
the vilest of them he was kno^vn as the Father of 
the Legions. On the other hand, he had been ruth- 
less to the best men, especially the companions and 
friends of Germanicus, and at last, vdih the help of 
poison and the black arts, had destroyed the prince 
himself. Then had come the blasphemous rites and 
sacrifices 2 of Plancina and himself, an armed assault 
on the commonwealth, and — in order that he might 
be put on his trial — defeat upon a stricken field." ^ 

XIV. On all counts but one the defence wavered. 
There was no denying that he had tampered A\-ith 
the soldiery, that he had abandoned the province 
to the mercies of ever}' villain, that he had even 
insulted the commander-in-chief. The single charge 
which he seemed to have dissipated was that of 
poisoning. It was, indeed, none too plausibly sus- 
tained by the accusers, who argued that, at a dinner 
given by Germanicus, Piso (who was seated above 

541 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

Piso discumberet, infectos mauibus eius cibos ar- 
guentes. Quippe absuvdum videbatur inter aliena 
servitia et tot adstantium visu, ipso Germanico 
coram, id ausum; ofFerebatque familiam reus et 
ministros in tormenta flagitabat. Sed iudices per 
diversa implacabiles erant, Caesar ob bellum pro- 
vinciae inlatum, senatus numquam satis credito sine 
fraude Germanicum interisse. . . .^ seripsissent 
expostulantes, quod haud minus Tiberius quam Piso 
abnuere. Simul populi ante curiam voces audie- 
bantur : non temperaturos manibus si patrum sen- 
tentias evasisset. Effigiesque Pisonis traxerant in 
Gemonias ac divellebant, ni iussu principis protectae 
repositaeque forent. Igitur inditus lecticae et a tri- 
bune praetoriae eohortis deductus est, vario rumore 
custos saluti an mortis exactor sequeretur. 

XV. Eadem Plancinae invidia, maior gratia ; eoque 
ambiguum habebatur quantum Caesari in cam lioeret. 
Atque ipsa, donee mediae Pisoni spes, sociam se 

^ . . . Ferrdti. 



^ As a member of the senate he Avas necessarily one of the 
judges. 

2 The gap in the text — evidently considerable — must have 
contained a mention of the adjournment (camperendinatio) of 
the trial, followed by a second hearing (redintegrata accusatio, 
chap. 15). The correspondence, demanded by the accusers 
and refused by the defendant and the emperor alike, can 
hardly have been other than letters from Piso and Plancina to 
Tiberius and Augusta. 

542 



BOOK III. xiv.-xv. 

liiiuj introduced the dose into his food. Certainly, 
it seemed folly to assiune that he could have ventured 
the act among strange servants, under the eyes of 
so many bystanders, and in the presence of the victim 
himself: also, he offered his own slaves for torture, 
and insisted on its application to the attendants at 
the meal. For one reason or other, however, the 
j udges were inexorable : the Caesar,^ because war 
had been levied on a province ; the senate, because 
it could never quite believe that Germanicus had 
perished without foul play. . . .^ A demand for the 
correspondence was rejected as fii-mly by Tiberius 
as by Piso. At the same time, shouts were heard: 
it was the people at the senate-doors, crying that, 
if he escaped the suffrages of the Fathers, they 
would take the law i^ito their own hands. They 
had, in fact, dragged his effigies to the Gemonian 
Stairs,^ and were engaged in dismembering them, 
when they were rescued and replaced at the imperial 
command. He was therefore put in a litter and 
accompanied home by an officer of one of the prae- 
torian cohorts ; while rumour debated whether the 
escort was there for the preservation of his hfe or 
the enforcement of his death. 

XV. Plancina, equally hated, had more than equal 
influence ; so that it was considered doubtful how 
far the sovereign would be allowed to proceed against 
her. She herself, so long as hope remained for Piso, 

' A flight of stairs leading from the Capitol to the Forum 
Romanum, on which the bodies of criminals garotted in the 
career were exposed before being consigned to the Tiber : 
of. V. 9, VI. 25, Hist. III. 74 and 85. For the fury of the mob 
venting itself on statues, see 3Iayor'a collection of instances at 
Jut. X. 58. 

543 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

cuiuscumque fortunae et si ita ferret comitem exitii 
promittebat ; ut secretis Augustae precibus veniam 
obtinuit, paulatim segregari a marito, dividere defen- 
sionem coepit. Quod reus postquam sibi exitiabile 
intelligit, an adhuc experiretur dubitans, hortantibus 
filiis durat mentem senatumque rursum ingreditur ; 
redintegratamque accusationem, infensas patrum 
voces, adversa et saeva cuncta perpessus, nullo magis 
exterritus est quam quod Tiberium sine iniseratione,' 
sine ira, obstinatum clausumque vidit, ne quo adfectu 
perrumperetur. Relatus domum, tamquam defen- 
sionem in posteruni meditaretur, pauca conscribit 
obsignatque et liberto tradit; turn solita curando 
corpori exequitur. Dein multam post noctem, 
egressa cubiculo uxore, operiri foris iussit ; et coepta 
luce perfosso iugulo, iacente humi gladio, repertus 
est. 

XVI . Audire me memini ex senioribus visum sae- 
})ius inter manus Pisonis libellum quern ipse non 
vulgaverit; sed amicos eius dictitavisse litteras 
Tiberii et mandata in Germanicvun contineri, ac 
destinatum promere apud patres principemque ar- 
guere, ni elusus a Seiano per vana promissa foret ; 
nee ilium sponte exstinctimi, verum immisso per- 
cussore. Quorum neutrum ads e vera verim ; neque 

544 



BOOK III. xv.-xvi. 

protested that she would share his fortune for good 
or ill, or, if the need arose, would meet destruction 
in his company. But once her pardon had been 
procured by the private intercessions of Li%ia, she 
began step by step to dissociate herself from her 
husband and to treat her own defence as a distinct 
issue. It was a fatal symptom, and the defendant 
knew it. He was doubtful whether to make another 
effort or not ; but, as his sons pressed him, he 
hardened his heart and entered the senate once 
more. He faced the repetition of the charges, the 
hostile cries of the Fathers, the fierce opposition 
evident in every quarter ; but nothing daunted him 
more than the sight of Tiberius, pitiless and anger- 
less, barred and bolted against the ingress of any 
human emotion. After being carried home, he wrote 
a little, apparently notes for his defence the next 
day ; sealed the paper, and handed it to a freedman. 
Then he gave the usual attention to his person; 
and finally, late at night, when his wife had left the 
bedroom, he ordered the door to be closed, and was 
found at daybreak with his throat cut and a sword 
lying on the floor. ^■ 

XVI. I remember hearing my elders speak of a 
docimient seen more than once in Piso's hands. The 
parport he himself never disclosed, but his friends 
always asserted that it contained a letter from 
Tiberius with his instructions in reference to Ger- 
manicus ; and that, if he had not been tricked by 
the empty promises of Sejanus, he was resolved to 
produce it before the senate and to put the emperor 
upon his defence. His death, they believed, was 
not self-inflicted : an assassin had been let loose to 
do the work. I should hesitate to endorse either 

545 

VOL, lU N N 



^ 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

tamen occulere debui narratum ab iis qui nostram 
ad iuventam duraverunt. Caesar flexo in maestitiam 
ore suam invidiam tali morte quaesitam apud sena- 
tum . . .^ crebrisque interrogationibus exquirit qua- 
lem Piso diem supremum noetemque exegisset. 
Atque illo pleraque sapienter, quaedam inconsultius 
respondente, recitat codicillos a Pisone in hunc ferme 
modum composites : " Conspiratione inimicorum et 
invidia falsi criminis oppressus, quatenus veritati et 
innocentiae meae nusquam locus est, deos inmortalis 
testor vixisse me, Caesar, cum fide adversum te 
neque alia in matrem tuam pietate ; vosque oro 
liberis meis consulatis, ex quibus Cn. Piso quali- 
cumque fortunae meae non est adiunctus, cum omne 
hoc tempus in m'be egerit, M. Piso repetere Suriam 
dehortatus est. Atque utinam ego potius filio iuveni 
quam ille patri seni cessisset. Eo impensius precor 
ne meae pravitatis poenas innoxius luat. Per quin- 
que et quadraginta annorum obsequium, per col- 
legium consulatus, quondam divo Augusto parenti 
tuo probatus et tibi amicus nee quicquam post haec 
rogaturus salutem infelicis filii rogo." De Plancina 
nihil addidit. 

XVII. Post quae Tiberius adulescentem crimine 
civilis belli purgavit, patris quippe iussa nee potuisse 

1 . . . Boxhom. 

^ The smallest possible supplement is Weissenborn's : apud 
senatum <conquestus M. Pisonem vocari iubet> crebrisque e.q.s. 
As it is natural to suppose, however, that both this lacuna and 
the not inconsiderable one above (chap. 14) are due to the 
mutilation of the same leaf in the archetype, the loss is probably 
greater. 

2 His public life was therefore virtually co-extensive with 
the principate. 

• He was consul with Tiberius in 7 B.C. 



BOOK III. xvi.-xvii. 

theory : at the same time, it was my duty not to 
suppress a version given by contemporaries who were 
still living in my early years. 

With his lineaments composed to melancholy, the 
Caesar expressed his regret to the senate that Piso 
should have chosen a form of death reflecting upon 
his sovereign . . .^ and cross-examined him at length 
on the manner in which his father had spent his last 
day and night. Though there were one or two 
indiscretions, the answers were in general adroit 
enough, and he now read a note drawn up by 
Piso in nearly the following words : — " Broken by a 
confederacy of my enemies and the hatred inspired 
by their lying accusation, since the world has no 
room for my truth and innocence, I declare before 
Heaven, Caesar, that I have lived your loyal subject 
and your mother's no less dutiful servant. I beg 
you both to protect the interests of my children. 
Gnaeus has no connexion with my affairs, good or 
ill, since he spent the whole period in the capital ; 
while Marcus advised me against returning to Syria. 
And I can only wish that I had given way to my 
youthful son, rather than he to his aged father! I 
pray, therefore, with added earnestness that the 
punishment of my perversity may not fall on his 
guiltless head. By my five-and-forty years ^ of obedi- 
ence, by the consulate we held in common,^ as the 
man who once earned the confidence of your father, 
the deified Augustus, as the friend who will never 
ask favour more, I appeal for the life of my unfor- 
tunate son." Of Plancina not a word. 

XVII. Tiberius followed by absolving the younger 
Piso from the charge of civil war, — for " the orders 
came from a father, and a son could not have dis- 

547 
nn2 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

filium detrectare, simul nobilitatem domus, etiam 
ipsius quoquo modo meriti gravem casum miseratus. 
Pro Plancina cum pudore et flagitio disseruit, matris 
preces obtendens, in quam optimi cuiusque secret! 
questus magis ardescebant. Id ergo fas aviae inter- 
fectricem nepotis adspicere, adloqui, eripere senatui. 
Quod pro omnibus civibus leges obtineant, uni Ger- 
manico non contigisse. Vitellii et Veranii voce de- 
fletum Caesarem, ab imperatore et Augusta defensam 
Plancinam. Proinde venena et artes tarn feliciter 
expertas verteret in Agrippinam, in liberos eius, 
egregiamque aviam ac patruum sanguine miserrimae 
domus exsatiaret. Biduum super hac imagine cog- 
nitionis absumptum, urgente Tiberio liberos Pisonis 
matrem uti tuerentur. Et cum accusatores ac testes 
certatim perorarent respondente nullo, miseratio 
quam invidia augebatur. Primus sententiam roga- 
tus Aurelius Cotta consul (nam referente Caesare 
magistratus eo etiam munere fungebantur) nomen 
Pisonis radendum ^ fastis censuit, partem bonorum 
publicandam, pars ut Cn. Pisoni filio concederetur 
isque praenomen mutaret ; Piso exuta dignitate et 

1 radendum] eradendum Baiter {cf. IV. 4^2 fin.). 

^ Had the emperor not been presiding, the relatio would 
normally have been made by a consul. In that case, the 
question would have been put in the first instance to the 
consuls-elect for the following year — the rule being that it 
was not put to the high magistrates present, though they 
possessed the right of speaking at any stage of the pro- 
ceedings. 

2 He appears to have taken that of " Lucius," and to be 
rightly identified with L. Calpurnius Piso, consul in 27 a.d. 
(VI. 62). Stock examples of the penalty are the prohibition of 
the name " Marcus " among the Manlii (Liv. VI. 20) and that 

548 



BOOK III. xvii. 

obeyed, " — and at the same time expressed his sorrow 
for a noble house and the tragic fate of its repre- 
sentative, whatever his merits or demerits. In 
offering a shamefaced and ignominious apology for 
Plancina, he pleaded the entreaties of his mother ; 
who in private was being more and more hotly 
criticized by every person of decency: — " So it was 
allowable in a grandmother to admit her grandson's 
rhurderess to sight and speech, and to rescue her 
from the senate ! The redress which the laws 
guaranteed to all citizens had been denied to Ger- 
manicus alone. The voice of VitelUus and Veranius 
had bewailed the Caesar : the emperor and Augusta 
had defended Plancina. It remained to turn those 
drugs and arts, now tested with such happy results, 
against Agrippina and her children, and so to satiate 
this admirable grandmother and uncle with the 
blood of the whole calamitous house ! " Two days 
were expended on this phantom of a trial, with 
Tiberius pressing Piso's sons to defend their mother ; 
and as the accusers and witnesses delivered their 
competing invectives, without a voice to answer, 
pity rather than anger began to deepen. The ques- 
tion was put in the first instance to Aurehus Cotta, 
the consul: for, if the reference came from the 
sovereign, even the magistrates went through the 
process of registering their opinion.^ Cotta proposed 
that the name of Piso should be erased from the 
records, one half of his property confiscated, and the 
other made over to his son Gnaeus, who should 
change his first name;^ that Marcus Piso should 

of " Lucius " among the Claudii (Suet. Tib. 1) : a more recent 
case was the ban on Mark Antony's praenomen (Plut. Cic. fin. : 
D. Cass. LI. 19). 

549 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

accepto quinquagies sestertio in decern annos rele- 
garetur, concessa Plancinae incoluraitate ob preces 
Augustae. 

XVIII. Multa ex ea sententia mitigata sunt a 
principe : ne nomen Pisonis fastis eximeretur, quando 
M. Antonii qui bellum patriae feoisset, lulli Antonii 
qui domum Augusti violasset, manerent. Et M. 
Pisonem ignominiae exemit concessitque ei paterna 
bona, satis firmus, ut saepe memoravi, adversum 
pecuniam et turn pudore absolutae Plancinae pla- 
cabilior, Atque idem, cum Valerius Messalinus 
signum aureum in aede Martis Vltoris, Caecina Seve- 
rus aram ultionis statuendam censuissent, prohibuit, 
ob externas ea victorias sacrari dictitans, domestica 
mala tristitia operienda. Addiderat Messalinus Ti- 
berio et Augustae et Antoniae et Agrippinae Dru- 
soque ob vindictam Germanici gratis agendas omise- 
ratque Claudii mentionem. Et Messalinum quidem 
L. Asprenas senatu coram percontatus est an pru* 
dens praeterisset ; ac tum demum nomen Claudii 
adscriptum est. Mihi quanto plura recentium seu 
veterum revolvo, tanto magis ludibria rerum mor- 
talium cunctis in negotiis obversantur. Quippe fama, 
spe, veneratione potius omnes destinabantur imperio 
quam quern futurum principem fortuna in occulto 
tenebat. 

^ The milder form of banishment, the rdegaius — ^milike the 
exul — retaining his civic rights and property. 

* In 44 B.C. and 32 B.C. His name was actually cancelled 
from the public monuments, but was restored, presumably in 
the later years of Augustus. 

3 I. 10. * I. 75; II. 48. 

' Probably not this year's consul, but his father (see chap. 
2, note). 

* The Caecina who commanded the Lower Army of Germany 
(I. 31, etc.). 



BOOK III. xvii.-xviii. 

be stripped of his senatorial rank, and relegated '^ 
for a period of ten years with a gratuity of five 
million sesterces : Plancina, in view of the empress's 
intercession, might be granted immunity. 

XVIII. Much in these suggestions was mitigated 
by the emperor. He would not have Piso's nam6 
cancelled from the records, when the names of Mark 
Antony, who had levied war on his fatherland,^ and 
of lullus Antonius,^ who had dishonoured the hearth 
of Augustus, still remained. He exempted Marcus 
Piso from official deg-radation, and granted him his 
patrimony : for, as I have often said,* he was firm 
enough against pecuniary temptations, and in the 
present case his shame at the acquittal of Plancina 
made him exceptionally lenient. So, again, when 
Valerius Messalinus ^ proposed to erect a golden 
statue in the temple of Mars the Avenger, and 
Caecina Severus ^ an altar of Vengeance, he vetoed 
the scheme, remarking that these memorials were con- 
secrated after victories abroad ; domestic calamities 
called for sorrow and concealment. Messalinus had 
added that Tiberius, Augusta, Antonia, Agrippina, 
and Drusus ought to be officially thanked for their 
services in avenging Germanicus: Claudius he had 
neglected to mention. Indeed, it was only when 
Lucius Asprenas ' demanded point-blank in the senate 
if the omission was deliberate that the name was 
appended. For myself, the more I reflect on events 
recent or remote, the more am I haunted by the 
sense of a mockery in human affairs. For by repute, 
by expectancy, and by veneration, all men were 
sooner marked out for sovereignty than that future 
emperor whom destiny was holcUng in the background. 

^ 1.53. 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

XIX. Paucis post diebus Caesar auctor senatui 
fuit Vitellio atque Veranio et Servaeo sacerdotia 
tribuendi, Fulcinio suffragium ad honores poUicitus 
monuit ne facundiam violentia praecipitaret. Is 
finis fuit in ulciscenda Germanici morte, non modo 
apud illos homines qui turn agebant, etiam secutis 
temporibus vario rumore iactata. Adeo maxima 
quaeque ambigua sunt, dum alii quoquo modo 
audita pro eompertis habent, alii vera in contra- 
rium vertunt et gliscit utrumque posteritate. At 
Drusus urbe egressus repetendis auspiciis mox ovans 
introiit, Paucosque post dies Vipsania mater eius 
excessit, una omnium Agrippae liberorum miti obitu : 
nam ceteros manifestum ferro vel creditum est 
veneno aut fame extinctos. 

XX. Eodem anno Tacfarinas, quem priore aestate ^ 
pulsum a Camillo memoravi, bellum in Africa reno- 
vat, vagis primum populationibus et ob pernioitatem 
inultis, dein vicos exscindere, trahere gravis praedas ; 
prostremo baud procul Pagyda flumine cohortem 
Romanam circumsedit. Praeerat castello Decrius 
impiger manu, exercitus militia et illam obsidionem 
flagitii ratus. Is, cohortatus milites, ut copiam 

* [priore aestate] Nipperdey. 



^ The imperium was necessary to his ovation (see chap. 
2), but had technically lapsed with his entry into Rome. 

2 Daughter of Agrippa by his first wife Pomponia. For 
the fate of his children by Augustus' daughter Julia, see I. 3 
(Gaius and Lucius Caesar); ib. 6 (Agrippa Postumus); IV. 71 
(Julia) ; VI. 25 (Agrippina). The issue of his second marriage 
with Marcella (Suet. Aug. 63) are apparently ignored. 

3 As in chap. 11, the words priore aestate are probably 
interpolated : at all events, Camillus' defeat of Tacfarinas 
took place in 17 a.d. (see II. 52). 

552 



BOOK III. xix.-xx. 

XIX. A few days later, the Caesar recommended 
the senate to confer priesthoods on Vitellius, Vera- 
nius, and Servaeus. To Fuleinius he promised his 
support, should he become a candidate for prefer- 
ment, but warned him not to let impetuosity become 
the downfall of eloquence. 

This closed the punitive measures demanded by 
Germanicus' death : an affair which, not only to the 
generation which witnessed it, but in the succeeding 
years, was a battle-ground of opposing rumoiurs. So 
true it is that the great event is an obscure event: 
one school admits all hearsay evidence, whatever its 
character, as indisputable ; another perverts the 
truth into its contrary- ; and, in each case, posterity 
magnifies the error. 

Drusus, who had left the capital, in order to 
regularize his command,^ entered it shortly after- 
wards with an ovation. A few days later, his mother 
Vipsania^ died — the only one of all Agrippa's children 
whose end was peace. The rest perished, part, it is 
known, by the sword; part, it was believed, by 
poison or starvation. 

XX. In the same year, Tacfarinas — ^whose defeat 
by Camillus in the previous summer ^ I have already 
mentioned — resumed hostilities in Africa: at first, 
by desultory raids, too speedy for reprisals ; then, 
by the destruction of villages and by plunder on a 
larger scale. Finally, he invested a Roman cohort 
not far from the river Pagyda.* The position was 
commanded by Decrius, who, quick in action and 
experienced in war, regarded the siege as a disgrace. 
After an address to the men, he drew up his lines in 

* The stream is otherwise unknown. 

553 



I 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

pugnae in aperto faceret ^ aciem pro castris instruit. 
Primoque impetu pulsa cohorte promptus inter tela 
occursat fugientibus, increpat signiferos quod ineon- 
ditis aut desertoribus miles Romanus terga daret ; 
simul excepta ^ vulnera et, quamquam transfosso 
oculo, adversum os in hostem intendit neque proelium 
omisit donee desertus suis caderet. 

XXI. Quae postquam L. Apronio (nam Camillo 
successerat) comperta, magis dedecore suorum quam 
gloria hostis anxius, raro ea tempestate et e vetere 
memoria facinore decumum quemque ignominiosae 
cohortis sorte ductos fusti necat. Tantumque seve- 
ritate profectum ut vexillum veteranorum, non 
amplius quingenti numero, easdem Tacfarinatis 
copias praesidium cui Thala nomen adgressas fude- 
rint. Quo proelio, Rufus Helvius gregarius miles 
servati civis decus rettulit donatusque est ab Apronio 
torquibus et hasta. Caesar addidit civicam coronam, 
quod non earn quoque Apronius iure proeonsulis 
tribuisset questus magis quam ofFensus. Sed Tacfa- 

^ faceret Probst : facerent. ^ excepta] exceptat Held. 

1 1.56; 72; 11.32; 111.64; IV. 13; 22; 73; VI. 30; XI. 

1 9. The numismatic evidence fixes his proconsulate of Africa 
for the years 18-20 a.d. 

* Sporadic cases of " decimation " crop up till a much later 
period. The practice dated traditionally from Appius 
Claudius (Liv. II. 59 fin.). 

^ In Timis. 

*■ The torques and " headless spear " (hasta pura) were usual 
military decorations: the "civic crown" of oak-leaves was, 
on the other hand, the most coveted and most sparingly 
awarded of all such distinctions. It was, in fact, a standing 
emblem of the imperial house, though declined by Tiberius 
(Suet. Tib. 26) : The indispensable conditions were that the 
recipient should be a Boman citizen; that he should have 
saved the life of a Roman on the battle-field; that he should 

554 



BOOK III. xx.-xxi. 

front of the encampment so as to offer battle in the 
open. As the cohort broke at the first onset, he 
darted eagerly among the missiles, to intercept the 
fugitives, cursing the standard-bearers who could 
see Roman soldiers turn their backs to a horde of 
undrilled men or deserters. At the same time, he 
turned his wounded breast and his face — with one 
eye pierced — to confront the enemy, and continued 
to fight until he dropped forsaken by his troop. 

XXI. WTien the news reached Lucius Apronius *• 
(the successor of Camillus), perturbed more by the 
disgrace of his oyra troops than by the success of 
the enemy, he resorted to a measure rare in that 
period and reminiscent of an older world, drawing by 
lot and flogging to death every tenth man in the dis- 
honoured cohort. 2 And so effective was the severity 
that, when the same forces of Tacfarinas assaulted a 
stronghold named Thala,' they were routed by a 
company of veterans not more than five hundred in 
number. During the engagement a private soldier, 
Helvius Rufus, earned the distinction of sa\'ing a 
Roman life, and was presented by Apronius with the 
collar and spear : the civic crown was added by the 
emperor; who regretted, more in sorrow than in 
anger, that the proconsul had not exercised his power 
to award this further honour.* As the Numidians 

have slain an enemy in so doing ; and that he should not have 
fallen back from the ground on ■which his exploit was performed 
(Plin. B.N. XVI. 4; Gell. V. 6). Since Africa was unique 
among senatorial provinces in that the proconsul had a legion 
under him, Apronius would have been within his rights in 
conferring the crown : otherwise, its bestowal would have 
rested with the emi)eror (see XV. 12). From a still extant 
inscription we gather that Helvius took the cognomen 
" Civica," rose to be leading-centurion, and presented baths to 
his fellow-townsmen of Varia (Vicovaro, near Tivoli). 

555 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

rinas perculsis Numidis et obsidia aspernantibus 
spargit bellum, ubi instaretur cedens ac rursum in 
terga remeans. Et dum ea ratio barbaro fuit, inri- 
tum fessumque Romanum impune ludificabatur ; 
postquam deflexit ad maritimos locos, inligatus ^ 
praeda stativis castris adhaerebat, missu patris Apro- 
nius Gaesianus cum equite et cohortibus auxiliariis, 
quis velocissimos legionum addidei*at, prosperam 
adversum Numidas pugnam facit pellitque in deserta. 
XXII. At Romae Lepida, cui super Aemiliorum 
deeus L. Sulla et Cn. Pompeius proavi erant, defertur 
simulavisse partum ex P. Quirinio divite atque orbo. 
Adiciebantur adulteria, venena quaesitumque per 
Chaldaeos in domum Caesaris, defendente ream 
Manio Lepido fratre. Quirinius post dictum repu- 
dium adhuc infensus quamvis infami ao nocenti 
miserationem addiderat. Haud facile quis dispexerit 
ilia in cognitione mentem principis : adeo vertit ac 
miscuit irae et clementiae signa. Deprecatus prime 
senatum ne maiestatis crimina tractarentur, mox 
M. Servilium e consularibus aliosque testis inlexit 
ad proferenda quae velut reticeri ^ voluerat. Idem- 
que servos Lepidae, cum militari custodia haberentur, 
transtulit ad consules neque per tormenta interrogari 

^ inligatus] inligatusque Walther. 

2 reticeri Acidalius (reticere Beroaldus) : reicere. 

1 See the obituary notice in chap. 48. 

^ A treasonable offence : for other allusions to it see XII. 
22 and 52; XVI. 14 and 30: and above II. 27. 

3 The malignity lay in the fact that the divorce had taken 
place years ago. 



BOOK III. xxi.-xxii. 

had both lost heart and disdained sieges, Tacfarinas 
fell back on guerilla warfare, yielding ground when 
the enemy became pressing, and then returning to 
harass the rear. Indeed, so long as the African 
adhered to this strategy, he befooled with impunity 
the ineffective and footsore Roman. But when he 
deviated to the coastal district and encumbered him- 
self with a train of booty which kept him near a 
fixed encampment, Apronius Caesianus, marching at 
his father's order with the cavalry and auxiliary 
cohorts reinforced by the most mobile of the legion- 
aries, fought a successful engagement and chased 
the Numidians into the desert. 

XXII. At Rome, in the meantime, Lepida, who, 
over and above the distinction of the Aemilian family, 
owned Sulla and Pompey for great-grandsires, was 
accused of feigning to be a mother by Publius 
Quirinius,^ a rich man and childless. There were 
complementary charges of adulteries, of poisonings, 
and of inquiries made through the astrologers with 
reference to the Caesarian house.- The defence was 
in the hands of her brother, Manius Lepidus. Despite 
her infamy and her guilt, Qiiirinius, by persisting 
in his malignity after divorcing her,^ had gained her 
a measure of sympathy. It is not easy to penetrate 
the emperor's sentiments during this trial : so adroitly 
did he invert and confuse the symptoms of anger 
and of mercy. He began by requesting the senate 
not to deal with the charges of treason; then he 
lured the former consul, Marcus Servilius, \^ith a 
number of other witnesses, into stating the very 
facts he had apparently wished to have suppressed. 
Lepida's slaves, again, were being held in mihtary 
custody ; he transferred them to the consuls, and 

557 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

passus est de iis quae ad domum suam pertinerent. 
Exemit etiam Drusum, consulem designatum, dicen- 
dae primo loco sententiae ; quod alii civile rebantur, 
ne ceteris adsentiendi necessitas fieret quidam ad 
saevitiam trahebant : neque enim cessurum nisi 
damnandi officio. 

XXIII. Lepida ludorum diebus qui cognitionem 
intervenerant theatrum cum claris feminis ingressa, 
lamentatione flebili maiores suos ciens ipsumque 
Pompeiimij cuius ea monimenta et adstantes imagines 
visebantur, tantum misericordiae permovit ut effusi 
in lacrimas saeva et detestanda Quirinio clamitarent, 
cuius senectae atque orbitati et obscurissimae domui 
destinata quondam uxor L. Caesari ac divo Augusto 
nurus dederetur. Dein tormentis servorura pate- 
facta sunt flagitia itumque in sententiam Rubelli 
Blandi a quo aqua atque igni arcebatur. Huic 
Drusus adsensit quamquam alii mitius censuissent. 
Mox Scauro, qui filiam ex ea genuerat, datum ne 
bona publicarentur. Tum demum aperuit Tiberius 
compertum sibi etiam ex P. Quirinii servis veneno 
eum a Lepida petitum. 

XXIV. Inlustrium domuum adversa (etenim haud 



^ See the note on chap. 17. 

^ They argued that Drusua was only the mouthpiece of his 
father : if, tlien, measures were taken to prevent his speaking 
first, the only possible inference was that Tiberius was bent 
upon a conviction and desired to escape the odium of pro- 
posing it through his son. 

^ Probably the Liidi Eomani magni (Sept. 4-19). 

* The great Theatre of Pompey in the Campus Martins; 
completed in 55 B.C. 

« See VI. 27. 

* She had presumably married Scaurus {insignis nobilUate 
et orandis causis, vita probrosus, VI. 29) after her divorce from 

558 



BOOK III. xxii.-xxiv. 

would not allow them to be questioned under torture 
upon the issues concerning his own family. Similarly, 
he exempted Drusus, who was consul designate, 
from speaking first to the question.^ By some this 
was read as a concession relie\'ing the rest of the 
members from the need of assenting : others took 
it to mark a sinister purpose on the ground that he 
would have ceded nothing save the duty of con- 
demning.2 

XXIII, In the course of the Games,^ which had 
interrupted the trial, Lepida entered the theatre 
with a niunber of women of rank; and there, weep- 
ing, wailing, invoking her ancestors and Pompey 
himself, whom that edifice^ commemorated, whose 
statues were standing before their eyes, she excited 
so much sympathy that the crowd burst into tears, 
with a fierce and ominous outcry against Quirinius, 
to whose doting years, barren bed, and petty family 
they were betraying a woman once destined for the 
bride of Lucius Caesar and the daughter-in-law of 
the deified Augustus. Then, with the torture of her 
slaves, came the revelation of her crimes ; and the 
motion of Rubellius Blandus,^ who pressed for her 
formal outlawry, was carried. Drusus sided with 
him, though others had proposed more lenient 
measures. Later, as a concession to Scaurus, who 
had a son by her, it was decided not to confiscate 
her property.* And now at last Tiberius disclosed 
that he had ascertained from Quirinius' own slaves 
that Lepida had attempted their master's life by 
poison. 

XXIV. For the disasters of the great houses (for 

Qtdrinina. Confiscation uanally followed upon the " inter- 
action from fire and water " — exile, in the rigour of the term. 

559 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

multum distant! tempore Calpumii Pisonem, Aemilii 
Lepidam amiserant) solacio adfecit D. Silanus luniae 
familiae redditus. Casum eius paucis repetam. Vt 
valida divo Augusto in rem publicam fortuna, ita 
domi improspera fuit ob impudicitiam filiae ae neptis 
quas urbe depulit, adulterosque earum morte aut 
fuga punivit. Nam, culpam inter viros ae feminas 
vulgatam gravi nomine laesarum religionum ac vio- 
latae maiestatis appellando, clementiam maiorum 
suasque ipse leges egrediebatur. Sed aliorum exitus, 
simul cetera illius aetatis memorabo, si efFectis in 
quae tetendi plures ad curas vitam produxero. 
D. Silanus in nepti Augusti adulter, quamquam non 
ultra foret saevitum quam ut amicitia Caesaris pro- 
hiberetur, exilium sibi demonstrari intellexit, nee 
nisi Tiberio imperitante deprecari senatum ac prin- 
cipem ausus est M. Silani fratris potentia, qui per 
insignem nobilitatem et eloquentiam praecellebat. 
Sed Tiberius gratis agenti Silano patribus coram 
respondit se quoque laetari quod frater eius e pere- 
grinatione longinqua revertisset, idque iure licitum 
quia non senatus consulto, non lege pulsus foret; 
sibi tamen adversus eum integras parentis sui offen- 
siones neque reditu Silani dissoluta quae Augustus 

^ For the elder Julia see I. 53, note : for her daughter, 
IV. 71. 

" Death in the case of lullus Antonius (I. 10) ; banishment 
in that of Silanus and Gracchus (I. 53). 

3 The lex lulia de adulteriis (II. 50). 

560 



BOOK III. xxiv. 

at no great distance of time Piso had been lost to 
the Calpurnii and Lepida to the Aemihi) there was 
some consolation in the return of Decimus Silanus 
to the Junian family. His mischance deserves a 
brief retrospect. Fortune, staunch to the deified 
Augustus in his public life, was less propitious to 
him at home, owing to the incontinence of his 
daughter and granddaughter,^ whom he expelled 
from the capital while penalizing their adulterers 
by death or banishment. ^ For designating as he did 
the besetting sin of both the sexes by the harsh 
appellations of sacrilege and treason, he overstepped 
both the mild penalties of an earlier day and those 
of his own laws.^ But the fate of other delinquents 
I shall record together with the general history of 
that age, should I achieve the task I have set before 
me and be spared for yet other themes. Decimus 
Silanus, the lawless lover of Augustus' granddaughter, 
though subjected to no harsher penalty than for- 
feiture of the imperial friendship, realized that the 
impUcation was exile ; nor was it until the accession 
of Tiberius that he ventured to appeal to the senate 
and sovereign through his influential brother, Marcus 
Silanus,* whose high descent and eloquence gave him 
a commanding position. Even so, while Silanus was 
expressing his gratitude before the senate, Tiberius 
replied that " he also was glad that his brother had 
returned from his distant pilgrimage : he had an 
indefeasible right to do so, as he had been exiled 
neither by resolution of the senate nor by form of 
law. At the same time, he retained his father's 
objections to him intact; and the repatriation of 
Silanus had not cancelled the wishes of Augustus." 

* The future father-in-law of Caligula (VI. 20, note). 

561 

1 VOL. II. O O 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

voluisset. Fuit posthac in urbe neque honores 
adeptus est. 

XXV. Relatum dein ^ de moderanda Papia Pop- 
paea, quam senior Augustus post lulias rogationes 
incitandis caelibum poenis et augendo aerario san- 
xerat. Nee ideo coniugia et educationes liberum 
frequentabantur praevalida orbitate; ceterum mul- 
titude periclitantium gliscebat, cum omnis domus 
delatorum interpretationibus subverteretur, utque 
antehac flagitiis, ita tunc legibus laborabatur. Ea 
res admonet ut de principiis iuris et quibus modis 
ad banc multitudinem infinitam ac varietatem legum 
perventum sit altius disseram. 

XXVI. Vetustissimi mortalium, nulla adhuc mala 
libidine, sine probro, scelere eoque sine poena aut 
coercitionibus agebant. Neque praemiis opus erat 
cum honesta suopte ingenio peterentur ; et ubi nihil 
contra morem euperent, nihil per metum vetaban- 
tur. At postquam exui aequalitas et pro modestia 
ac pudore ambitio et vis incedebat, provenere 
dominationes multosque apud populos aetermma 
mansere. Quidam, statim aut postquam regum 
pertaesum, leges maluerunt. Hae prime rudibus 
hominum animis simplices erant ; maximeque fama 
celebravit Cretensium, quas Minos, Spartanorum, 
quas Lycurgus, ac mox Atheniensibus quaesitiores 

^ dein Woelfflin : deinde. 

^ Passed in 9 a.d. during the term of office of the consvlea 
sujfecti M. Papius Mutilus and -Q. Poppaeus Secundus— both 
childless and indeed unmarried (D. Cass. LVI. 10). 

* The lex lulia de maritandis ordinihus of 18 B.C., with regard 
to which the prayers of Horace were not answered (Garm. 
saec. 17-20). 

* Torrentius on Suet. Aug. 34 cites Tertullian's description 
(Apol. 4) : — vanissimas Papiaa leges. 

562 



BOOK III. xxiv.-xxvi. 

Accordingly he resided for the future in Rome, but 
without holding office. 

XXV. A motion was then introduced to qualify 
the tenns of the Lex Papia Poppaea.^ This law, 
complementary to the Julian rogations,- had been 
passed by Augustus in his later years, in order to 
sharpen the penalties of celibacy and to increase the 
resources of the exchequer. It failed, however, to 
make marriage and the fanaily popular ^ — childlessness 
remained the vogue. On the other hand, there was 
an ever-increasing multitude of persons liable to pro- 
secution, since every household was threatened with 
subversion by the arts of the informers ; and where 
the country once suflFered from its vices, it was now 
in peril from its laws. This circumstance suggests 
that I should discuss more deeply the origin of 
legislation and the processes which have resvdted in 
the countless and complex statutes of to-day. 

XXVI. Primeval man, untouched as yet by criminal 
passion, lived his life without reproach or guilt, and, 
consequently, without penalty or coercion: rewards 
were needless when good was sought instinctively, 
and he who coveted nothing unsanctioned by custom 
had to be withheld from nothing by a threat. But 
when equality began to be outworn, and ambition 
and violence gained groimd in place of modesty and 
self-effacement, there came a crop of despotisms, 
which with many nations has remained perennial. 
A few communities, either from the outset or after 
a surfeit of kings, decided for government by laws. 
The earliest specimens were the artless creations of 
simple minds, the most famous being those drawn 
up in Crete by Minos, in Sparta by Lycurgus, and 
in Athens by Solon— the last already more recondite 

563 
00 2 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

iain et plures Solo perscripsit. Nobis Romulus ut 
libitum imperitaverat : dein Numa religionibus et 
divino iure populum devinxit, repertaque quaedam 
a TuUo et Aneo. Sed praecipuus Servius Tullius 
sanctor legum fuit quis etiam reges obtemperarent. 

XXVII. Pulso Tarquinio adversum patrum fac- 
tiones multa populus paravit tuendae libertatis et 
firmandae coneordiae, creatique decemviri et accitis 
(juae usquam egregia eompositae duodecim tabulae, 
finis aequi iuris. Nam secutae leges etsi aliquando 
in maleficos ex delicto, saepius tamen dissensione 
ordinum et apiscendi inlicitos honores aut pellendi 
claros viros aliaque ob prava per vim latae sunt. 
Hinc Gracchi et Saturnini turbatores plebis nee 
minor largitor nomine senatus Drusus ; corrupti spe 
aut inlusi per intercessionem socii. Ac ne bello 
quidem Italico, mox civili omissum quin multa et 

^ The principal dates for this and the next chapter are the 
following : — 451 B.C. Patrician decemviri legibus scribundis, 
superseding all magistrates, publish ten " Tables " (fons omnis 
publici privafique iuris, Liv. III. 34). 450 B.C. Two tables 
{iniqidssimae according to Cicero) added by second body of 
decemvirs, half plebeian in composition. — 133 B.C. Tribunate, 
agrarian law, and death of Tiberius Gracchus. 123 B.C. 
Tribimate and legislation of C. Gracchus. 122 B.C. Second 
tribunate and further legislation of C. Gracchus. The senate 
employ M. Livius Drusus to outbid him for popular favour. 
121 B.C. First senatus consuUurn ultimum. Massacre of 
Gracchus and his adherents. — 100 B.C. Sixth consulate of 
Marius. Violent demagogic agitation of L. Apuleius Saturninus 
and C. Servilius Glaucia. Second senatus consultum ultimum : 
Marius suppresses Satm-ninus and Glaucia. — 91 b.c. Far- 
reaching and popular proposals of the tribune M. Livius 
Drusus (son of the one mentioned above). His assassination 
and failiu-e to enfranchise the Italian allies precipitate the 
Social War (91-88 B.C.). 88-82 b.c. Sulla and Marius. 
Dictatorship of Sulla (82 B.C.). 81 b.c. "Cornelian Laws" of 

564 



BOOK III. xxvi.-xxvii. 

and more numerous. In our o^^■n case, after the abso- 
lute sway of Romulus, Numa imposed on his peQple 
the bonds of religion and a code dictated by Heaven. 
Other discoveries were due to Tullus and Ancus. 
But, foremost of all, Servius Tullius became an 
ordiiiner of laws, to which kings themselves were to 
owe obedience. 

XXVII. 1 Upon the expulsion of Tarquin, the com- 
mons, to check senatorial factions, framed a large 
number of regulations for the protection of their 
liberties or the estabHshment of concord ; the Decem- 
\irs came into being ; and, by incorporating the best 
features of the foreign constitutions, the Twelve 
Tables were assembled, the final instance of equitable 
legislation. For succeeding laws, though occasionally 
suggested by a crime and aimed at the criminal, 
were more often carried by brute force in con- 
sequence of class-dissension — to open the way to 
an unconceded office, to banish a patriot, or to 
consummate some other perverted end. Hence our 
demagogues : our Gracchi and Satumini, and on the 
other side a Drusus bidding as high in the senate's 
name ; while the provincials were alternately bribed 
^vith hopes and cheated with tribunician vetoes. 
Not even the Itahan war, soon replaced by the Civil 

Snlla. (The tribunes are left with Kttle more than a restricted 
right of veto.) 79 B.C. Abdication of Sulla, who dies next 
year. 78 B.C. M. Aemilius Lepidua begins the attempt to 
overthrow the Sullan constitution. 70 B.C. The powers of the 
tribunate restored by Pompey and Crassus. — 52 B.C. Chaos at 
Rome (Clodius, Milo, etc.). Pompey appointed consul for 
third time (without a colleague). 49 B.C. Outbreak of war 
between Caesar and Pompey. 48 B.C. Defeat and death of 
Pompey. 48—28 B.C. 'Continua per viginti annos discordia.' 
27 B.C. Seventh consulate of Octa^nan. who receives the name 
Augustus. Formal establishment of the principate. 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

diversa sciscerentur, donee L. Sulla dictator aboliti<5 
vel conversis prioribus, cum plura addidisset, otiuni 
eius rei hand in longum paravit, statira turbidis 
Lepidi rogationibus neque multo post tribunis reddita 
licentia quoquo vellent populum agitandi. lamque 
non modo in commune, sed in singulos homines latae 
quaestiones, et corruptissima re pul^lica plurimac 
leges. 

XXVIII, Turn Cn. Pompeius, tertium consul corri- 
gendis moribus delectus et gravior remediis quani 
delicta erant suarumque legum auctor idem ac sub- 
versor, quae ai-mis tuebatur armis amisit. Exim 
continua per viginti annos discordia, non mos, non 
ius ; deterrima quaeque impune ac multa honesta 
exitio fuere. Sexto demum consulatu Caesar Augus- 
tus, potentiae securus, quae triumviratu iusserat 
abolevit deditque iura quis pace et principe uteremur. 
Acriora ex eo vincla, inditi custodes et lege Papia 
Poppaea praemiis inducti ut, si a privilegiis paren- 
tum cessaretur, velut parens omnium populus vacan- 
tia teneret. Sed altius penetrabant urbemque et 
Italiam et quod usquam ci\ium coi-ripuerant, mul- 
torumque excisi status. Et terror omnibus inten- 
tabatur, ni Tiberius statuendo remedio quinque 
consularium, quinque e praetoriis, totidem e cetero 

1 At this time more than a quarter of the property falling to 
the exchequer as a result of their activities (Suet. Ner. 10). 

566 



BOOK III. xxvii.-xxviii. 

war, could interrupt the flow of self-contradictory 
legislation ; until Sulla, in his dictatorship, by abolish- 
ing or inverting the older statutes and adding more 
of his own, brought the process to a standstill. But 
not for long. The calm was immediately broken by 
the Rogations of Lepidus, and shortly afterwards 
the tribunes were repossessed of their licence to 
disturb the nation as they pleased. And now bills 
began to pass, not only of national but of purely 
individual application, and when the state was most 
corrupt, laws were most abundant. 

XXVIII. Then came Pompey's third consulate. 
But this chosen reformer of society, operating with 
remedies more disastrous than the abuses, this 
maker and breaker of his ovvn enactments, lost by 
the sword what he was holding by the sword. There 
followed twenty crowded years of discord, during 
which law and custom ceased to exist : villainy was 
immune, decency not rarely a sentence of death. 
At last, in his sixth consulate, Augustus Caesar, 
feeling his power secure, cancelled the behests of 
his triumvirate, and presented us with laws to serve 
our needs in peace and under a prince. Thencefor- 
ward the fetters were tightened : sentries were set 
over us and, under the Papia-Poppaean law, lured on 
by rewards ;^ so that, if a man shirked the privileges 
of paternity, the state, as universal parent, might 
step into the vacant inheritance. But they pressed 
their activities too far: the capital, Italy, every 
comer of the Roman world, had suffered from their 
attacks, and the positions of many had been wholly 
ruined. Indeed, a reign of terror was threatened, 
when Tiberius, for the fixing of a remedy, chose by 
lot five former consuls, five former praetors, and an 

567 



THE ANNALS OF TACIIUS 

senatu sorte duxisset, apud quos exsoluti plerique 
legis nexus modicum in praesens levamentum fuere. 

XXIX. Per idem tempus Neronem e liberis Ger- 
manici iam ingressum iuventam commendavit pa- 
tribus, utque munere capessendi vigintiviratus sol- 
veretur et quinquennio maturius quam per leges 
quaesturam peteret, non sine inrisu audientium, 
postulavit. Praetendebat sibi atque fratri decreta 
eadem, petente Augusto. Sed neque turn fuisse du- 
bitaverim qui eius modi preces occulti inluderent i 
ac tamen initia fastigii Caesaribus erant magisque 
in oculis vetus mos et privignis cum vitrico levior 
necessitudo quam avo adversum nepotem. Additur 
pontificatus et, quo primum die forum ingressus 
est, congiarium plebi admodum laetae quod Germa- 
nici stirpem iam puberem aspiciebat. Auctum de- 
hinc gaudium nuptiis Neronis et luliae Drusi filiac. 
Vtque haec secundo rumore, ita adversis animis accep- 
tum quod filio Claudii socer Seianus destinaretur. 
Polluisse nobilitatem familiae videbatur suspec- 
tumque iam nimiae spei Seianum ultro ^ extulisse. 

XXX. Fine anni concessere vita insignes viri 

^ ultro Alciatus : ultra. 



' Stiil in 20 A.D. 2 jfg ^,as probably born in 6 a.d. 

^ A collective term for the four inferior magistracies (com- 
prising in all 20 members), one of which must normally bo 
held before the quaestorship. 

■* The twenty-fifth year. 

'- It is shown by inscriptions that the pontificate was held, 
not by Nero, but by his brother Drusus. 

* Only an informal arrangement for the future, since 
Sejanus' daughter must have been little more than an infant : 
see V. 9. The actual betrothal took place later, but was 

568 



BOOK III. xxviii.-xxx. 

equal number of ordinary senators : a body wliich, 
by untying many of the legal knots, gave for the 
tinae a measure of relief. 

XXIX. About the same date,'^ he commended 
Gennanicus' son Nero, who had now entered on 
man's estate,^ to the good offices of the Fathers, 
and taxed the gravity of his audience by asking 
them to relieve him from the duty of serving on the 
Vigintivirate ^ and to allow his candidature for the 
quaestorship five years before the legal age.^ His plea 
was that the same concessions had been voted to him- 
self and his brother at the instance of Augustus. But 
even then, I should imagine, there must have been 
some who secretly scoffed at these princely petitions ; 
and yet those were the early days of the Caesarian 
domination, early custom was more in the eyes of 
men, and the relationship of a stepfather and his 
stepsons is a slighter thing than that of a grandfather 
and a grandchild. Nero was granted a pontificate ^ 
in addition, and on the day of his first entry into the 
Forum, a largesse was distributed to the lower 
orders, who were overjoyed to see a scion of Ger- 
manious arrived already at maturity. Their delight 
was soon increased by his marriage with Drusus' 
daughter, Julia ; but the satisfaction expressed at 
these events was balanced by dislike for the choice 
of Sejanus as the future father-in-law of the son of 
Claudius.^ The impression was that the emperor had 
sulHed the dignity of his house, while needlessly 
exalting Sejanus, who even then was suspected of 
more than legitimate ambitions. 

XXX. At the close of the year, two famous Romans 

followed within a few clay.s by the death of Claudius' son 
(Suet. Claud. 27). 

5^>9 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

L. Volusius et Sallustius Crispus. Volusio vetus 
familia neque tamen praeturam egressa ; ipse con- 
sulatum intulit, censoria etiam potestate legendis 
equitum decuriis functus, opumque quis domus 
ilia immensum viguit primus adcumulator, Crispum 
equestri ortum loco C. Sallustius, rerum Romana- 
rum florentissimus auctor, sororis nepotem in 
nonien adscivit. Atque ille, quamquam prompto 
ad capessendos honores aditu, Maecenatem aemula- 
tus, sine dignitate senatoria, multos triumphalium 
consulariumque potentia anteiit, diversus a vete- 
rum instituto per cultum et munditias copiaque et 
affluentia luxu propior. Suberat tamen vigor animi 
ingentibus negotiis par, eo acrior quo somnum et 
inertiam magis ostentabat. Igitur incolumi Maece- 
nate proximus, mox praecipuus, cui secreta impera- 
torum inniterentur, et interficiendi Postumi Agrip- 
pae conscius, aetate provecta speciem magis in ami- 
citia principis quam vim tenuit. Idque et Maecenati 
acciderat, fato potentiae rare sempiternae, an satias 
capit aut illos cum omnia tribuerunt aut hos cum 
iam nihil reliquum est quod cupiant. 

XXXI. Sequitur Tiberi quartus, Drusi secundus 
consulatus, patris atque filii collegio insignis. Nam 

^ L. Volusius Saturninus, consul (suffectus) 12 B.C.; pro- 
consul of Africa 6 B.C. ; legate of Syria 5 a.d. 

2 His duty (probably as one of a commission of three 
appointed by Augustus) was to draw up and arrange the list of 
knights competent to serve as jurors. 

» See Hor. Carm. II. 2. 

« See I. 6. 

570 



BOOK III. xxx.-xxxi. 

gave up the ghost, Lucius ^'^olusius ^ and Sallustius 
Crispus. ^^olusius belonged to an old family which, 
none the less, had never advanced beyond the 
praetorsliip. He himself enriched it -with the con- 
sulate, and, besides discharging the duties of the 
censorship in the selection of the equestrian decuries,^ 
became the first accumulator of the wealth which 
raised the family fortunes to such unmeasured 
heights. Crispus,^ a knight by extraction, was the 
grandson of a sister of Gaius Sallustius, the brilliant 
Roman historian, who adopted him into his family 
and name. Thus for him the avenue to the great 
offices lay clear ; but, choosing to emulate Maecenas, 
without holding senatorial rank he outstripped in 
influence many who had won a triumph or the con- 
sulate ; while by his elegancy and refinements he 
was sundered from the old Roman school, and in the 
ample and generous scale of his estabhshment 
approached extravagance. Yet under it all lay a 
mental energj', equal to gigantic tasks, and all the 
more active from the display he made of somnolence 
and apathy. Hence, next to Maecenas, while 
Maecenas lived, and later next to none, he it was 
who sustained the burden of the secrets of emperors. 
He was privy to the killing of Agrippa Postumus ; * 
but with advancing years he retained more the 
semblance than the reality of his sovereign's friend- 
ship. The same lot had fallen to Maecenas also, — 
whether influence, rarely perpetual, dies a natural 
death, or there comes a satiety, sometimes to the 
monarch who has no more to give, sometimes to 
the favourite with no more to crave. 

XXXI. Now came the fourth consulate of Tiberius a.v.c. 77i 
and the second of Drusus — a noticeable association ^^' "^ 

571 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

triennio ^ ante Germanici cum Tiberio idem honor 
neque patruo laetus neque natura tarn conexus 
fuerat. Eius anni principio Tiberius quasi firmandae 
valetudini in Campaniam concessit, longam et con- 
tinuam absentiam paulatim meditans, sive ut amoto 
patre Drusus munia consulatus solus impleret. Ac 
forte parva res magnum ad certamen progressa prae- 
buit iuveni materiem apiscendi favoris. Domitius 
Corbulo, praetura functus, de L. Sulla nobili iuvene 
questus est apud senatum quod sibi inter spectacula 
gladiatorum loco non decessisset. Pro Corbulone 
aetas, patrius mos, studia seniorum erant ; contra 
Mamercus Scaurus et L. Arruntius aliique Sullae 
propinqui nitebantur. Certabantque orationibus et 
memorabantur exempla maiorum qui iuventutis 
inreverentiam gravibus decretis notavissent, donee 
Drusus apta temperandis animis disseruit ; et satis- 
factum Corbuloni per Mamercum qui patruus simul 
ac vitricus Sullae et oratorum ea aetate uberrimus 
erat. Idem Corbulo, plurima per Italiam itinera 
fraude mancipum et incuria magistratuum inter- 
rupta et impervia clamitando, executionem eius 
negotii libens suscepit; quod baud perinde publice 
usui habitum quam exitiosum multis quorum in 

1 ti'iennio Nipperdey : biennio. 

1 The association was ominous as well as remarkable. For 
the list of Tiberius' colleagues in the consulate runs : — 
Quintilius Varus (13 B.C.), Cn. Piso (7 B.C.), Germanicus 
(18 A.D.), Drusus (21 a.d.), Sejamis (.31 a.d.). See D. Cass. 
LVII. 20. 

^ He must have been an older man than the celebrated 
general of Claudius and Nero — possibly his father, though 
the question is not free from difficulties. 

* The magistrates in question were the curaloreft viarum, 
a body reorganized, if not created, by Augustus. 

572 



BOOK III. XXXI. 

of father and son.^ For, three years earher, the same 
official partnership of Gennanicus and Tiberius had 
been neither grateful to the uncle nor knit so closely 
by the ties of blood. 

In the beginning of the year, Tiberius, \nth the 
professed object of restoring his health, withdrew to 
Campania ; either to train himself step by step for 
a protracted and continuous absence, or to cause 
Drusus, through the retirement of his father, to fulfil 
his consular duties alone. It chanced, indeed, that 
a trivial affair which developed into a serious conflict 
suppUed the prince \vith the material of popularity. 
Domitius Corbulo,^ who had held the praetorship, 
complained to the senate that the young aristocrat, 
Lucius Sulla, had not given up his seat to him at a 
gladiatorial exhibition. On Corbulo's side were his 
age, national custom, and the partiaUties of the 
older men : Mamercus Scaurus, Lucius Arruntius, 
and other of Sulla's connections were active in the 
opposite cause. There was a sharp exchange of 
speeches, with references to the example of our 
ancestors, who had censured youthful irreverence in 
grave decrees ; until Drusus made a speech calculated 
to ease the tension, and Corbulo was accorded satis- 
faction by Mamercus, who was at once the uncle of 
Sulla, his stepfather, and the most fluent orator of 
that generation. 

It was Corbulo, again, who raised the outcry that 
numbers of roads throughout Italy were broken and 
impracticable owing to the rascality- of the con- 
tractors and the remissness of the magistrates.^ He 
readily undertook to carry out the prosecution ; but 
the results were considered to be less a benefit to 
the community than a catastrophe to the many whose 

573 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

peeuniam atque famam damnationibus et hasta 
saeviebat. 

XXXII. Neque multo post, missis ad senatum 
litteris Tiberius motam rursum Africam incursu 
Tacfarinatis docuit iudicioque patrum deligendum 
pro consule gnarum niilitiae, corpore validum et bello 
suffecturum. Quod initium Sex. Pompeius agitandi 
adversus Marcum Lepidum odii nanctus, ut socor- 
dem, inopem et maioribus suis dedecorum eoque 
etiam Asiae sorte depellendum incusavit, adverso 
senatu qui Lepidum mitem magis quam ignavum, 
paternas ei angustias et nobilitatem sine probro 
actam honori quam ignominiae habendam ducebat. 
Igitur missus in Asiam et de Africa decretum ut 
Caesar legeret cui niandanda foret. 

XXXIII. Inter quae Severus Caecina censuit lie 
quem magistratum cui provincia obvenisset uxor 
comitaretur, multum ante repetito concordem sibi 
coniugem et sex partus enixam, seque quae in publi- 
CMin. statueret domi servavisse, cohibita intra 
ItaHam, quamquam ipse pluris per provincias quadra- 
ginta stipendia explevisset. Haud enim frustra 



* Tiie roads, it would seem, were put in order at the expense 
of the curators and contractors. K they were unable to meet 
the resultant demands for money, their property was auctioned. 
For the subsequent history of the obscure episode see D. Cass. 
LIX. 15 and LX. 17. 

2 The two great governorships still within the bestowal of 
the senate were those of Asia and Africa, which were normally 
assigned to the two doyens among the ex-consuls, the par- 
ticular province to be held by each being determined by lot. 
But since, in this case, the destination of Africa is to be settled 
not by lot, but iudicio patrum, there remains only Asia ; which 
should automatically fall to Lepidus as the senior ex-consul 

574 ' U5,, Wo\h^ . ^ 



^^ ^r""' C«.ui !\ A^ 



BOOK III. xxxi.-xxxiii. 

property and repute suffered irom the ruthless con- 
demnations and forced sales. ^ 

XXXII. Not long afterwards, a letter from Tiberius 
apprized the senate that Africa had been disturbed 
once more by an inroad of Tacfarinas, and that the 
Fathers were to use their judgment in choosing a 
proconsul, with mihtary experience, and of a physique 
adequate to the campaign. Sextus Pompeius im- 
proved the occasion by airing his hatred of Marcus 
Lepidus, whom he attacked as a spiritless and 
poverty-stricken degenerate, who should conse- 
quently be debarred from the Asiatic pro\ince as 
well. 2 The senate disapproved: Lepidus, it held, 
was gentle rather than cowardly ; and, as his patri- 
mony was embarrassed, an honom'ed name carried 
Avithout reproach was a title of honour, not of dis- 
grace. To Asia accordingly he went; and, as for 
Africa, it was decided to leave the emperor to choose 
a man for the post. 

XXXIII. In the course of the debate, Caecina 
Severus mo\ed that no magistrate, who had been 
allotted a proNince, should be accompanied by his 
wife. He explained beforehand at some length that 
" he had a consort after his own heart, who had borne 
him six children : yet he had conformed in private 
to the rule he was proposing for the public; and, 
although he had served his forty campaigns ^ in one 
province or other, she had always been kept ^vithin 
the boundaries of Italy. There was point in the old 

(he had held office in 6 a.d. with L. Amintius, and for one 
reason or other had ah^ady been passed over five times). 

* Either this is a round number for forty-one or quadra- 
gesimum (I. 64) for thirty-ninth: for the campaign of 16 a.d. 
was now to be reckoned. 

575 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

placitum olim ne feminae in socios aut gentis exter- 
nas traherentur : inesse mulierum comitatui quae 
pacem luxu, bellum formidine morentur et Roma- 
num agmen ad similitudinem barbari incessus 
convertant. Non imbecillum tantum et imparem 
laboribus sexum, sed, si licentia adsit, saevum, am- 
bitiosum, potestatis avidum ; incedere inter milites, 
habere ad manum centuriones ; praesedisse nuper 
feminam exercitio cohortium, decursu legionum. 
Cogitarent ipsi quotiens repetundarum aliqui argue- 
rentur plura uxoribus obiectari; his statim adhae- 
rescere deterrimum quemque provinciahum, ab his 
negotia suscipi, transigi ; duorum egressus coh, duo 
esse praetoria, pervicacibus magis et impotentibus 
muhermn iussis quae, Oppiis quondam ahisque legi- 
bus constrictae, nunc vinchs exsolutis, domos, fora, 
iam et exercitus regerent. 

XXXIV. Paucorum haec adsensu audita : plures 
obturbabant neque relatum de negotio neque Cae- 
cinani dignum tantae rei censorem. Mox V^alerius 
Messahnus, cui parens Messala ineratque imago 
paternae facundiae, respondit multa duritiae vete- 
rum in ^ mehus et laetius mutata ; neque enim, ut 

^ in melius Muretus : melius. 

^ The allusion, of course, is to Plancina (II. 65) : later, 
Caecina might have found a more scandalous example in the 
wife of Calvisius Sabinus (Hist. I. 48). 

^ The statement would seem to be exaggerated : for a 
similar view, compare Juv. VIII. 128-30. 

^ The lex Oppia, directed mainly against extravagance in 
dress, was passed as a measure of economy in the Hannibalian 
War, but was rescinded twenty years later (see Liv. XXXIV. 
init.). 

* I. 8, III. 18. His father was the famous orator, soldier, 
litterateur and politician, M. Valerius Messala Corvinus, the 



BOOK III. xxxiii.-xxxiv. 

regulation which prohibited the dragging of women 
to the provinces or foreign countries : in a retinue 
of ladies there were elements apt, by luxury or by 
timidity, to retard the business of peace or war and 
to transmute a Roman march into something re- 
sembling an Eastern procession. Weakness and a 
lack of endurance Avere not the only failings of the 
sex : give them scope, and they turned hard, in- 
triguing, ambitious. They paraded among the 
soldiers ; they had the centurions at beck and call. 
Recently a woman had presided at the exercises of 
the cohorts and the manceuvres of the legions.^ Let 
his audience reflect that, whenever a magistrate was 
on his trial for malversation, the majority of the 
charges were levelled against his ■\\-ife.^ It was to 
the wife that the basest of the proAincials at once 
attached themselves ; it was the wife who took in 
hand and transacted business. There were two 
potentates to salute in the streets ; two government- 
houses ; and the more headstrong and autocratic 
orders came from the women, who, once held in 
curb by the Oppian ' and other laws, had now cast 
their chains and ruled supreme in the home, the 
courts, and by now the army itself." 

XXXR'. A few members listened to the speech 
with approval : most interrupted A^th protests that 
neither was there a motion on the subject nor was 
Caecina a competent censor in a question of such 
imjjortance. He was presently answered by Valerius 
Messalinus,* a son of Slessala, in whom there resided 
some echo of his father's eloquence : — " Much of the 
old-world harshness had been improved and softened ; 

friend of Tibullus, of Horace, and, in his old age, of Tiberius, 
who took him as the model of his Latinity (Suet. Tib. 70). 

577 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

olim, obsideri urbem bellis aut provincias hostilis 
esse ; et pauca feminarum necessitatibus coneedi 
quae ne coniugum quidem penatis, adeo socios non 
onerent ; cetera proxnisca cum marito nee ullum in 
eo pacis impedimentum. Bella plane aceinctis 
obeunda; sed revertentibus post laborem quod 
honestius quam uxorium levamentum ? At quasdam 
in ambitionem aut avaritiam prolapsas. Quid? 
ipsorum magistratuum nonne plerosque variis libi- 
dinibus obnoxios ? Non tamen ideo neminem in pro- 
vinciam mitti. Corruptos saepe pravitatibus uxorum 
maritos; num ergo omnis caelibes integros? Pla- 
cuisse quondam Oppias leges, sic temporibus rei 
publicae postulantibus ; remissum aliquid postea et 
mitigatum, quia expedierit. Frustra nostram igna- 
viam alia ad vocabula transferri: nam viri in eo 
culpam si femina modum excedat. Porro ob unius 
aut alterius imbecillum animum male eripi maritis 
consortia rerum secundarum adversarumque. Siraul 
sexum natura invalidum deseri et exponi suo luxu, 
cupidinibus alienis. Vix praesenti custodia manere 
inlaesa coniugia : quid fore si per pluris annos in 
modum discidii oblitterentur ? Sic obviam irent iis 
quae alibi peccarentur ut flagitiorum urbis memi- 
nissent. Addidit pauca Drusus de matrimonio suo ; 

578 



BOOK III. XXXIV. 

for Rome was no longer environed ^^ith wars, nor 
were the pro\inces hostile. A few allowances were 
now made to the needs of women ; but not such as to 
embarrass even the establishment of their consorts, 
far less our allies : everything else the wife shared 
■with her husband, and in peace the arrangement 
created no difficulties. Certainly, he who set about 
a war must gird up his loins ; but, when he returned 
after his labour, what consolations more legitimate 
than those of his helpmeet ? — But a few women had 
lapsed into intrigue or avarice. — Well, were not too 
many of the magistrates themselves vulnerable to 
temptation in more shapes than one ? Yet governors 
still went out to governorships ! — Husbands had often 
been corrupted by the depravity of their -wives. — 
And was every single man, then, incorruptible ? The 
Oppian laws in an earlier day were sanctioned because 
the circumstances of the conunonwealth so demanded : 
later remissions and mitigations were due to ex- 
pediency. It was vain to label our o^%ti inertness 
with another title : if the woman broke bounds, the 
fault lay with the husband. Moreover, it was unjust 
that, through the weakness of one or two, married 
men in general should be torn from their partners in 
weal and woe, while at the same time a sex frail by 
nature was left alone, exposed to its own voluptuous- 
ness and the appetites of others. Hardly by sur- 
veillance on the spot could the marriage-tie be kept 
undamaged: what would be the case if, for a term 
of years, it were dissolved as completely as by 
divorce ? WTiile they were taking steps to meet 
abuses elsewhere, it would be well to remember the 
scandals of the capital ! " Drusus added a few 
sentences upon his o\\ti married Ufa : — " Princes not 

579 
pp2 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

nam principibus adeunda saepius longinqua imperii. 
Quoties divum Augustum in Occidentem atque 
Orientem meavisse comite Livia ! Se quoque in 
Illyricum profectum et, si ita conducat, alias ad 
gentis iturum, haud semper aequo animo si ab uxore 
carissima et tot communium liberorum parente 
divelleretur. Sic Caecinae sententia elusa est. 

XXXV. Proximo ^ senatus die, Tiberius per lit- 
teras, castigatis oblique patribus quod cuncta cura- 
rum ad principem reicerent, M'.^ Lepidum et 
lunium Blaesum nominavit ex quis pro consule 
Africae legeretur. Turn, audita amborum verba, 
intentius excusante se Lepido, cum valetudinem 
corporis, aetatem liberum, nubilem filiam obten- 
deret, intellegereturque etiam quod silebat, avun- 
culum esse Seiani Blaesum atque eo praevalidum. 
Respondit Blaesus specie recusantis sed neque 
eadem adseveratione et consensu adulantium adiu- 
tus est. 3 

XXXVI. Exim promptum quod multorum inti- 
mis questibus tegebatur. Incedebat enim deterrimo 
cuique licentia impune probra et invidiam in bonos 
excitandi arrepta imagine Caesaris ; libertique etiam 
ac servi, patrono vel domino cum voces, cum manus 

^ elusa est. Proximo Freinsheim : elusa. Et proximi. 

^ M'. Lipsius : M. 

* adiutus J. F. Gronovius : haud iustus (auditus margo). 

1 It is doubtful, however, whether he would have allowed the 
precedent as valid : see Suet. Aug. 24. 

2 For the right of asylum attached to a statue of the 
emperor, compare the advice given to Agrippina (IV. Q7 fin.). 
According to Suetonius — whatever the statement may be 
worth — matters went so far that it became a capital offence, 
circa Augusti simulacrum servum cecidisse, vestimenia mutasse 

580 



BOOK III. xxxiv.-xxxvi. 

infrequently had to \isit the remote parts of the 
empire. How often had the deified Augustus 
travelled to west and east with Li\da for his com- 
panion ! ^ He had himself made an excursion to 
Illyricum ; and, if there was a purpose to serve, he 
was prepared to go to other countries — but not 
always without a pang, if he were severed from the 
well-beloved wife who was the mother of their 
many comjmon children." Caecina's motion was thus 
evaded. 

XXXV. At the next meeting of the senate there 
was a letter from Tiberius ; in which, after an 
indirect stricture upon the Fathers, " who transferred 
the whole of their responsibiUties to the sovereign," 
he nominated Manius Lepidus and Junius Blaesus, 
either of whom was to be chosen for the proconsulate 
of Africa. The two were then heard. Lepidus, 
excusing himself \vith particular earnestness, pleaded 
the state of his health, the age of his children, and 
his now marriageable daughter; while it was also 
understood, though not said, that Blaesus was 
Sejanus' uncle, and therefore too powerful a com- 
petitor. The answer of Blaesus was in form a refusal ; 
but it was a refusal less uncompromising, and 
unanimous flattery assisted him to change his mind. 

XXX^T. Now came the disclosure of a practice 
whispered in the private complaints of many. There 
was a growing tendency of the rabble to cast insult 
and odium on citizens of repute, and to evade the 
penalty by grasping some object portraying the 
Caesar.2 The freedmen and slaves, even, were 
genuinely feared by the patron or the owner against 

(cf. D. Cass. LXVll. 12), nummo vel anulo effigiem impressam 
(cf. Philostr. 18 01.) latrinae aut lupanari intulisse (Tib. 58). 

581 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

intentarent, ultro metuebantur. Igitur C. Cestius 
senator disseruit principes quidem instar deorum 
esse, sed neque a diis nisi iustas supplicum preces 
audiri neque quemquam in Capitolium aliave urbis 
templa perfugere ut eo subsidio ad flagitia utatur. 
Abolitas leges et funditus versas, ubi in foro, in 
limine curiae ab Annia Rufilla, quam fraudis sub 
iudice damnavisset, probra sibi et xninae intendantur, 
neque ipse audeat ius experiri ob effigiem imperatoris 
oppositam. Haud dissimilia alii et quidam atrociora 
cireumstrepebant preeabanturque Drusum daret ul- 
tionis exemplum, donee accitam convictamque atti- 
neri publica custodia iussit. 

XXXVII. Et Considius Aequus et Caelius Cur- 
sor equites Romani, quod fietis maiestatis criminibus 
Magium Caecilianum praetorem petivissent, auctore 
principe ac decreto senatus puniti. \ trumque in 
laudem Drusi trahebatur : ab eo in urbe inter coe- 
tus et sermones hominum obversante secreta patris 
mitigari. Neque luxus in iuvene adeo displicebat: 
hue potius intenderet, diem aedificationibus,^ noctem 
conviviis traheret, quam solus et nullis volupta- 
tibus avocatus maestam vigilantiam et malas curas 
exerceret. 

XXXVIII. Non enim Tiberius, non accusatores 
fatiscebant. Et Ancharius Priscus Caesium Cordum 

^ aedificationibus] editionibus Lipsius ; alii alia. 



^ The mania for building was such as amply to justify the 
manuscript reading here. Literaiy references to it are very 
numerous : see for instance, Hor. Carm. II. 15; Sat. II. 3, 306; 
below, chap. 53. To a request for a loan an all-sufficient 
answer was " aedifico " (Mart. IX. 46). 

583 



BOOK III. xxxvi.-xxxvni. 

whom they lifted their voices or their hands. Hence 
a speech of the senator, Gaius Cestius : — '•' Princes, 
he admitted, were equivalent to deities ; but god- 
head itself listened only to the just petitions of the 
suppliant, and no man fled to the Capitol or other 
sanctuary of the city to make it a refuge subserving 
his crimes. The laws had been abolished— overturned 
from the foundations — when Annia Rufilla, whom he 
had proved guilty of fraud in a court of justice, could 
insult and threaten him in the Forum, upon the 
threshold of the curia ; while he himself dared not 
try the legal remedy because of the portrait of the 
sovereign >\-ith which she confronted him." Similar 
and, in some cases, more serious experiences, were 
described by a din of voices around him ; and appeals 
to Drusus, to set the example of punishment, lasted 
till he gave orders for her to be summoned and 
imprisoned, after con\iction, in the public cells. 

XXXVII. In addition, Considius Aequus and 
Caelius Cursor, Roman knights, who had laid ficti- 
tious charges of treason against the praetor Magius 
Caecilianus, were at the emperor's instance punished 
by decree of the senate. Both incidents were laid to 
the credit of Drusus ; for it was believed that, mov- 
ing in the capital among the gatherings and con- 
versations of his fellow-men, he had a softening 
influence on the inscrutable designs of his father. 
In view of his youth, not even his laxities were too 
unpopular : better he should follow the bent he did — 
play the architect ^ by day, the epicure by night — than 
live in solitude, deaf to the voice of pleasure, and 
immersed in sullen vigilance and sinister meditations. 

XXXVIII. For Tiberius and the informers showed 
no fatigue. Ancharius Priscus had accused Caesius 

583 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

pro consule Cretae pestulaverat repetundis, addito 
maiestatis crimine, quod turn omnium accusationum 
complementum erat. Caesar Antistium Veterem e 
primoribus Macedoniae, absolutum adulterii, incre- 
pitis iudicibus ad dicendam maiestatis causam re- 
traxit, ut turbidum et Rhescuporidis consiliis per- 
mixtum, qua tempestate Cotye ^ interfecto bellum 
adversus nos voluerat. Igitur aqua et igni inter- 
dictum reo adpositumque ut teneretur insula neque 
Macedoniae neque Thraeciae opportuna. Nam 
Thraecia diviso imperio in Rhoemetalcen et liberos 
Cotyis, quis ob infantiam tutor erat Trebellenus 
Rufus, insolentia nostri discors agebat neque minus 
Rhoemetalcen quam Trebellenum incusans popu- 
larium iniurias inultas sinere. Coelaletae Odrusaeque 
et Dii,2 validae nationes, arma cepere, ducibus diver- 
sis et paribus inter se per ignobilitatem : quae causa 
fuit ne in bellum atrox coalescerent. Pars turbant 
praesentia, alii montem Haemum transgrediuntur 
ut remotos populos concirent ; plurimi ac maxima 
compositi regem urbemque Philippopolim, a Mace- 
done Philippo sitam, circumsidunt. 

XXXIX. Quae ubi cognita P. Vellaeo (is proxi- 
mum exercitum praesidebat), alarios equites ac 
levis cohortium mittit in eos qui praedabundi aut 

^ Cotye Ernesti : Cotye fratre. 
* Dii Lipsius : alii. 

^ Strictly of Crete and Cyrene, the two having been com- 
bined by Augustus into a single senatorial province. 

2 See II. 64-67. 

3 The Balkans. 

* In 342 B.C. The town, in the upper valley of the Maritza, 
has retained its importance and — at all events, till 1918— the 
name of its founder (Turk. Filibi). 



BOOK III. xxxviii.-xxxix. 

Cordus, proconsul of Crete, ^ of malversation : a 
charge of treason, the complement now of all arraign- 
ments, was appended. Antistius V'etus, a grandee 
of Macedonia, had been acquitted of adultery : the 
Caesar reprimanded the judges and recalled him to 
stand his trial for treason, as a disaffected person, 
involved in the schemes of Rhescuporis during that 
j>eriod after the murder of Cotys when he had medi- 
tated war against ourselves.^ The defendant was 
condemned accordingly to interdiction from fire and 
water, with a proviso that his place of detention 
should be an island not too conveniently situated 
either for Macedonia or for Thrace. For since the 
partition of the monarchy between Rhoemetalces 
and the children of Cotys, who during their minority 
were under the tutelage of Trebellenus Rufus, 
Thrace — unaccustomed to Roman methods — was 
divided against herself; and the accusations against 
Trebellenus were no more \iolent than those against 
Rhoemetalces for leaving the injuries of his country- 
men unavenged. Three powerful tribes, the Coelale- 
tae, Odrysae, and Dii, took up arms, but under 
separate leaders of precisely equal obscurity : a fact 
which saved us from a coalition involving a serious 
war. One division embroiled the districts at hand; 
another crossed the Haemus range ' to bring out the 
remote clans ; the most numerous, and least dis- 
orderly, besieged the king in Philippopolis, a city 
founded by Philip of Macedon.* 

XXXIX. On receipt of the news, Publius Vellaeus, 
who was at the head of the nearest army ,5 sent the 
auxiliary horse and hght cohorts to deal with the 

• In Moesia — north of the Balkans. Vellaeus must have 
succeeded Pomponiu3 Flaccos (II. 66). 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

adsumendis auxiliis vagabantur, ipse robur peditum 
ad exsolvendum obsidium ducit. Simulque cuncta 
prospere acta, caesis populatoribus et dissensione 
orta apud obsidentis regisque opportuna eruptione 
et adventu legionis. Neque aciem aut proelium 
dici decuerit in quo semermi ac palantes trucidati 
sunt sine nostro sanguine. 

XL. Eodem anno Galliarum civitates ob magni- 
tudinem aeris alieni rebellioneni coeptavere, cuius 
extimulator acerrimus inter Treviros lulius Florus, 
apud Aeduos lulius Sacrovir. Nobilitas ambobus 
et maiorum bona facta eoque Romana civitas olim 
data, cum id rarum nee nisi virtuti pretium esset. 
11 secretis conloquiis, ferocissimo quoque adsumpto 
aut quibus ob egestatem ac metum ex flagitiis maxi- 
ma peccandi necessitudo, componunt Florus Belgas, 
Sacrovir propiores Gallos concire. Igitur per con- 
ciliabula et coetus seditiosa disserebant de con- 
tinuatione tributorum, gi*avitate faenoris, saevitia 
ac superbia praesidentium et diseordare militem 
audito Germanici exitio. Egregium resumendae 
libertati tempus, si ipsi florentes quam inops Italia, 
quam inbellis urbana plebes, nihil validum in exer- 
citibus nisi quod externum, cogitarent. 

XLI. Haud ferme ulla civitas intacta seminibus 
eius motus fuit; sed erupere primi Andecavi ac 

^ Only two of the four " Galliae" were involved: the com- 
pletely romanized Gallia Narbonensis (roughly equivalent to 
Provence) stood aloof, and so also Aquitania in the south-west. 
Of the remaining two, G. Lugdunensis (between the Loire, 
Seine and Saone) included the Aedui, Andecavi and Tiu-oni; 
G. Belgica (bounded on the west by the Seine and Saone, on 
the east by the Rhine from Lake Constance to the sea), was the 
seat of the Treviri. 

^ The names survive in Anjou and Touraine. 

586 



BOOK III. .YXxix.-xLi. 

roving bands who were in quest of plunder or recruits : 
he himself led the flower of the infantry to raise the 
siege. Success came everywhere at once : the 
marauders were put to the sword ; differences broke 
out in the besieging force ; the king made an oppor- 
tune sally, and the legion arrived. Neither battle 
nor engagement is a term applicable to an affair in 
which half-armed men and fugitives were butchered 
with no effusion of Roman blood. 

XL. The same year saw an incipient rebellion 
among the heavily indebted communities of the 
Gallic provinces.^ The most active promoters were 
Julius Florus among the Treviri and Julius Sacro\ir 
among the Aedui. Each was a man of birth, with 
ancestors whose services had been rewarded by 
Roman citizenship in years when Roman citizenship 
was rare and bestowed upon merit only. At secret 
conferences, taking into their councils ever}" desperado 
or any wretch whose beggarj* and guilty fears made 
crime a necessity, they arranged that Florus should 
raise the Belgae and Sacrovir the less distant Gauls. 
And so in assembhes and conventicles they made 
their seditious pronouncements on the continuous 
tributes, the grinding rates of interest, the cruelty 
and pride of the governors : — " The legions were 
mutinous since the news of Germanicus' murder, and 
it was an unequalled opportunity for regaining their 
independence : they had only to look from their own 
resources to the poverty of Italy, the unwarlike city 
population, the feebleness of the armies except for 
the leavening of foreigners." 

XLI. There was hardly a community into which 
the seeds of the movement had not fallen ; but the 
first outbreak came from the Andeca\i and Turoni.^ 

587 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

Turoni. Quorum Andecavos Acilius Aviola legatus 
excita cohorte quae Lugduni praesidium agitabat 
coercuit. Turoni legionario milite quern Visellius 
Varro inferioris Germaniae legatus miserat oppress! 
eodem Aviola duoe et quibusdam Galliarum primori- 
bus, qui tulere auxilium quo dissimularent defec- 
tionem magisque in tempore efFerrent. Spectatus et 
Sacrovir intecto capite pugnam pro Romanis ciens 
ostentandae, ut ferebat, virtutis, sed captivi ne inces- 
seretur telis adgnoscendum se praebuisse arguebant. 
Consultus super eo Tiberius aspernatus est indicium 
aluitque dubitatione bellum. 

XLII. Interim Florus insistere destinatis, pelli- 
cere alam equitum, quae conseripta e Treviris mili- 
tia disciplinaque nostra habebatur, ut caesis negotia- 
toribus Romanis bellum inciperet ; paucique equi- 
tum corrupti, plures in officio mansere. Aliud vulgus 
obaeratorum aut clientium arma cepit ; petebantque 
saltus quibus nomen Arduenna, cum legiones utro- 
que ab exercitu, quas Visellius et C. Silius adversis 
itineribus obiecerant, arcuerunt. Praemissusque cum 
delecta manu lulius Indus e civitate eadem, discors 
Floro et ob id navandae operae avidior, inconditam 
multitudinem adhuc disiecit.^ Florus incertis late- 
bris victores frustratus, postremo visis militibus, 
qui efFugia insederant, sua manu cecidit. Isque 
Trevirici tumultus finis. 

1 multitudinem adhuc] adhuc multitudinem Nipperdey. 

1 Lyon. 

- At that time much more extensive than now. 

3 Still legate of Upper Germany (I. 32) : for his fall see IV. 18. 

588 



BOOK III. xLi.-xLii. 

The former were quelled by the legate Acilius Aviola, 
who called out a cohort on garrison duty at Lug- 
dunum : ^ the Turoni were crushed by a body of 
legionaries sent by Visellius Varro, the legate of 
Lower Germany. The commander was again A\iola, 
supported by several Gaulish chieftains, who brought 
up auxiliaries with the intention of screening their 
defection for the moment and unmasking it at a 
more favourable juncture. SacroWr himself was 
there, a conspicuous figure, urging his men to strike 
for Rome, and bare-headed, — " to let his courage be 
seen," he explained. The prisoners, however, charged 
him with making his identity clear so as to avoid 
becoming a target for missiles. Tiberius, consulted 
on the point, rejected the information, and fostered 
the war by his indecision. 

XLII. ^Ieanwhile, Florus pressed on with his 
designis and endeavoured to induce a troop of horse, 
enrolled in the neighbourhood of Treves but kept in 
our service and under our discipline, to open hostilities 
by a massacre of Roman financiers. A few men were 
actually won over, but the greater number remained 
loyal. Apart from these, a rabble of debtors and 
dependants took up arms, and were making for the 
forest country known as the Ardennes,^ when they 
were debarred by the legions which Viselhus and 
Gaius Silius ^ had detached from their two armies, by 
opposite roads, to intercept their march. Julius 
Indus, a countrv'man of the insurgents, at feud •with 
Florus and hence the more eager to be of service, 
was sent ahead >vith a body of picked men, and dis- 
persed the still orderless multitude. Florus eluded 
the conquerors in unloiown coverts, to fall at last by 
his own hand, on deserving the soldiers who had 
occupied every egress. 

589 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

XLIII. Apud Aeduos maior moles exorta quanto 
civitas opulentior et comprimendi procul praesi- 
dium. Augustodunum caput gentis arraatis cohor- 
tibus Sacrovir occupaverat, ut nobilissimam ^ Gallia- 
rum subolem, liberalibus studiis ibi operatam, et ^ 
eo pignore parentes propinquosque eorum adiun- 
geret ; simul arma occulte fabricata iuventuti 
dispertit. Quadraginta milia fuere, quinta sui parte 
legionariis armis, ceteri cum venabulis et cultris 
quaeque alia venantibus tela sunt. Adduntur e 
servitiis gladiaturae destinati quibus more gentico 
continuum ferri tegimen : cruppellarios vocant, in- 
ferendis ictibus inhabilis, accipiendis impenetrabilis. 
Augebantur eae copiae vicinarum civitatum ut 
nondum aperta consensione, ita viritim promptis 
studiis, et certamine ducum Romanorum, quos inter 
ambigebatur utroque bellum sibi poscente. Mox 
Varro, invalidus senecta, vigenti Silio concessit. 

XLIV, At Romae non Treviros modo et Aeduos, 
sed quattuor et sexaginta Galliarum civitates de- 
scivisse, adsumptos in societatem Germanos, dubias 

^ ut Bezzenberger, nobilissimam Lipsius : nobilissimarum. 
^ et Bezzenberger : ut. 

^ The legions on the Rhine. 

^ Autun. — The college, founded by Augustus, long continued 
to flourish, and was even restored by Constantius Chlorus after 
the sack of the town by the Franks and Batavians in the reign 
of Claudius Gothicus (268-270 a.d). 

^ Since the Gauls despised body-armour, the phrase must 
refer only to the conventional equipment of the " Gallus " 
(murmillo) — hke the Samnite and Thracian, one of the national 
types of the arena. In spite of this passage and Ammian 
XXIII. 6, 83, the monuments are said not to support the view 
that the murinillones were heavily armed. Caligula (who 
detested them as opponents of his favourite Thracians) would 

59° 



BOOK III. xLiii.-xLiv. 

XLIII. So ended the rising as far as the Treviri 
were concerned. Among the Aedui trouble came in 
the graver form to be expected from the superior 
wealth of the conununity and the remoteness of the 
suppressing force.^ The tribal capital, Augusto- 
dunum,2 had been seized by armed cohortsof Sacro\ir, 
whose intention was to enlist those cadets of the great 
Galhc families who were receixing a hberal education 
at the city-schools, and to use them as pledges for 
the adhesion of their parents and relatives : simul- 
taneously he distributed weapons, secretly manu- 
factured, among the younger men. His followers 
amounted to forty thousand ; one-fifth armed on the 
legionary model ; the rest with boar-spears, hangers, 
and other implements of the hunting-field. To these 
he added a contingent of slaves, destined for the 
gladiatorial ring and encased in the continuous shell 
of iron usual in the country : ^ the so-called " cruppel- 
larians " — who, if too weighty to inflict wounds, are 
impregnably fortified against reeei\'ing them. These 
forces were steadily increased : the neighbouring 
districts had not as yet openly committed themiselves, 
but private enthusiasm ran high, and relations were 
strained between the Roman generals, then at issue 
over the conduct of the campaign, which was claimed 
by each as his o\^'n prerogative. Finally, Varro, 
now old and weakly, wthdrew in favour of Silius, 
who was still in the prime of life. 

XLIV. At Rome, however, the tale ran that not 
the Tre\iri and Aedui only were in revolt, but the 
four-and-sixty tribes of Gaul: the Germans had 
joined the league, the Spains were wavering, and, as 

seem to have thought so, since he took the precaution of 
reducing their accoutrement (Suet. Cal. 55). 

S9I 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

Hispanias, cuneta, ut nios famae, in maius credita. 
Optumus quisque rei publicae cura maerebat ; multi 
odio praesentium et cupidine mutationis suis quoque 
periculis laetabantur increpabantque Tiberium quod 
in tanto rerum motu libellis accusatorum insumeret 
operam. An Saerovirum maiestatis crimine reum in 
senatu fore ? Extitisse tandem viros qui eruentas 
epistulas armis cohiberent. Miseram pacem vel 
bello bene mutari. Tanto impensius in securitatem 
compositus, neque loco neque vultu mutato, sed ut 
solitum per illos dies egit, altitudine animi, an com- 
pererat modica esse et vulgatis leviora. 

XLV. Interim Silius cum legionibus duabus ince- 
dens praemissa auxiliari manu vastat Sequanorum 
pagos qui finium extremi et Aeduis contermini 
sociique in armis erant. Mox Augustodunum petit 
propero agmine, certantibus inter se signiferis, fre- 
mente etiam gregario milite, ne suetam requiem, 
ne spatia noctium opperiretur ; viderent modo adver- 
sos et aspicerentur : id satis ad victoriam. Duode- 
cimum apud lapidem Sacrovir copiaeque patentibus 
locis apparuere. In fronte statuerat ferratos, in 
cornibus cohortis, a tergo semermos. Ipse inter pri- 
mores equo insigni adire, memorare veteres Gallo- 



^ To the senate, ordering the trial, and implicitly the con- 
demnation of suspects. So far there has been little or nothing 
in the narrative of Tacitus to justify the phrase — apposite 
enough in Tiberius' later years, when nullae in eos imperatoris 
liiterae (VI. 47) became an exception worth recording. 

^ They occupied roughly the Franche-Comte (Haute-Saone, 
Doubs, and Jura), and adjoined Upper Germany, where Silius 
was in command. 

^ From Autun. 



BOOK III. XLTX.-XLV. 

in all rumours, every statement was amplified and 
credited. The patriot, anxious for the common- 
wealth, grieved; but in many hatred of the 
existing order and a cra^ing for change were such 
that they exulted even in their o\\"n perils, and 
la\ished reproaches on Tiberius, who, in this convul- 
sion of affairs, could centre his attention on the 
memoranda of the informers : — •• Was Sacro\'ir also 
to stand his trial for treason before the senate ? At 
last, men had arisen to check these murderous epistles^ 
by the sword ! War itself was a welcome exchange 
for the horrors of peace." All the more resolute was 
his studied unconcern ; he made no change of place, 
none of looks, but maintained his wonted behaviour 
through all those days, whether from deep resene 
or because he had information that the disturbances 
were of moderate extent and slighter than reported. 
XLV. In the meantime, Silius, marching -with two 
legions, had sent forward an auxiliary troop, and was 
devastating the xillages of the Sequani ; who lay on 
the extreme frontier,"^ adjoining the Aedui and 
their allies under arms. Then he moved at full 
speed upon Augustodunum. The march was a race 
between the standard-bearers, and even the private 
soldiers protested angrily against pausing for the 
usual rest or the long nightly bivouac : — " Let them 
only see the rebels in front, and be seen : it was 
enough for \-ictory!" At the tAvelfth milestone* 
Sacro\ir and his powers came into \iew on an open 
piece of ground. He had stationed his iron-clad 
men in the van, his cohorts on the wings, his half- 
armed followers in the rear. He himself, splendidly 
mounted, amid a group of chieftains, rode up to his 
troops, reminding them of the ancient laurels of 

593 

VOL. II. Q Q 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

rum glorias quaeque Romanis adversa intulissent : 
quam decora victoribus libertas, quanto intolerantior 
servitus iterum victis. 

XLVI. Non diu haec nee apud laetos : etenim pro- 
pinquabat legionum acies, inconditique ac militiae 
nescii oppidani neque oeulis neque auribus satis 
competebant. Contra Silius, etsi praesumpta spes 
hortandi causas exemerat, clamitabat tamen puden- 
dum ipsis quod Germaniarum victores adversum 
Gallos tamquam in hostem ducerentur. " Vna 
nuper cohors rebellem Turonum, una ala Trevirum, 
paueae huius ipsius exercitus turmae profligavere 
Sequanos. Quanto pecunia dites et voluptatibus 
opulentos, tanto magis imbellis Aeduos evincite et 
fugientibus consulite." Ingens ad ea clamor et cir- 
cumfudit eques frontemque pedites invasere, nee 
cunctatum apud latera. Paulum morae attulere 
ferrati, restantibus lamminis adversum pila et gla- 
dios; set miles correptis seeuribus et dolabris, ut 
si murum perrumperet, caedere tegmina et corpora ; 
quidam trudibus aut furcis inertem molem proster- 
nere iacentesque nullo ad resurgendum nisu quasi 
exanimes linquebantur. Sacrovir primo Augustodu- 
num, dein metu deditionis in villam propinquam cum 
fidissimis pergit. Illic sua manu, reliqui mutuis icti- 
bus occidere ; incensa super villa omnis cremavit. 

^ In other words, " capture them alive." There seems, 
however, no need to see in Silius' scornful rhetoric an allusion 
to the fact that his victory was per avaritiam foedata (IV. 19). 

594 



BOOK III. xLV.-xLVi. 

the Gauls, and the reverses they had inflicted upon 
the Romans ; how glorious their freedom, if they 
conquered ; how much more insufferable their bond- 
age, should they be vanquished once again. 

XLVI. His words were few and to a cheerless 
audience : for the embattled legions were drawing 
on ; and the undrilled to\vnsmen, new to the trade 
of war, had little control over their eyes and ears. 
On the other side — though anticipated hope had 
removed the need for exhortation — Silius exclaimed 
that it was an insult to the conquerors of the Ger- 
manics to be led as though to meet an enemy and 
to be confronted with Gauls ! " But recently one 
cohort shattered the rebel Turoni ; one troop of 
horse, the Tre\iri ; a few squadrons of this very army, 
the Sequani. The richer the Aedui, the more extra- 
vagant in their pleasures, the more unwarhke are 
they ; put them to the rout, and have mercy on them 
when they flee."^ The answer was returned in a 
great shout : the cavalry enveloped the flanks, and 
the infantry attacked the van. On the \sings there 
was no delay ; in front, the iron-clad men offered a 
brief impediment, as their plating was proof against 
javelin and sword. But the legionaries caught up 
their axes and picks and hacked at armour and flesh 
as if demolishing a wall : othei's overturned the 
inert masses \^ith poles or forks, and left them lying 
like the dead ^nthout an effort to rise again. 
Sacrovir, ^^ith his staunchest adherents, made his 
way first to Augustodunum ; then, apprehending his 
surrender, to an adjacent \i\\a. Here he fell by his 
o^\•n hand, the rest by mutually inflicted wounds ; 
the bodies were burnt by the house being fired over 
them. 

595 
QQ2 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

XLVII. Turn demum Tiberius ortum patratum- 
que bellum senatu scripsit ; neque dempsit aut 
addidit vero, sed fide ac virtute legates, se consiliis 
superfuisse. Simul causas cur non ipse, non Di'usus 
profecti ad id bellum forent, adiunxit, magnitudinem 
imperii extollens, neque decorum principibus, si 
una alterave civitas turbet, . . . ^ omissa urbe, unde 
in omnia regimen. Nunc quia non metu ducatur 
iturum ut praesentia spectaret componeretque. 
Deere vere patres vota pro reditu eius supplicatio- 
nesque et alia decora. Solus Dolabella Cornelius, 
dum antire ceteros parat absurdam in adulationem 
progressus, censuit ut ovans e Campania urbem 
introiret. Igitur secutae Caesaris litterae quibus se 
non tam vacuum gloria praedicabat ut post ferocis- 
simas gentis perdomitas, tot receptos in iuventa aut 
spretos triumphos, iam senior peregrinationis subur- 
banae inane praemiura peteret. 

XLVIII. Sub idem tempus ut mors Sulpicii 
Quirini publicis exequiis frequentaretur petivit a 
senatu. Nihil ad veterem et patriciam Sulpiciorum 
familiam Quirinius pertinuit, ortus apud munici- 
pium Lanuvium ; sed impiger militiae et acribus 

^ . . . Nipperdey. Supplendum velut hue illuc meare : 
cj. IV. 5 fin., supr. 34. 



1 See below, chap. 69, IV. 66, XI. 22 ; and, for his termina- 
tion of the war with Tacfarinas, IV. 23-26. 

" He had received three (over the Dalmatians and Pan- 
nonians in 9 B.C., over the Germans in 7 B.C., over the Illyrian 
insurgents in 12 a.d.), and, according to his panegyrist Velleius 
Paterculus, had earned seven. 

3 See II. 30 and, above, chap. 22. His consulate was in 
12 B.C., and as governor of Syria, apparently for the second 



BOOK III. XLVii.-xLviii. 

XL\'II. And now at last a letter from Tiberius 
informed the senate of the outbreak and completion 
of a war. He neither understated nor overstated 
the facts, but remarked that the fidelity and courage 
of his generals, and his own policy, had gained the 
day. At the same time, he added the reasons why 
neither Drusus nor himself had left for the campaign, 
insisting on the extent of the empire and on the 
loss of prestige to the sovereign if the disaffection 
of one or two communities could make him abandon 
the capital, which was the centre of government for 
the whole. However, now that fear was not the 
motive-force, he would go, \'iew matters on the spot, 
and arrange a settlement. The Fathers decreed 
vows for his return, supplications, and other com- 
phments : ComeUus Dolabella ^ alone, intent upon 
distancing his competitors, carried sycophancy to the 
absurd point of proposing that he should enter the 
city from Campania \*ith an ovation. The sequel 
was a missive from the Caesar, who asserted, -with a 
touch of pride, that " after subduing some of the 
fiercest of nations, and recei\'ing or rejecting so many 
triumphs in his youth, ^ he was not so bankrupt in 
fame as to court in his age a futile honour conferred 
for an excursion in the suburbs." 

XLVni. About the same time, he asked the 
senate to allow the death of Sulpicius Quirinius ^ to 
be solemnized by a public funeral. With the old 
patrician family of the Sulpicii Quirinius — who sprang 
from the municipality of Lanu\ium* — had no con- 
nection ; but as an intrepid soldier and an active 

time, he carried out the census referred to in Acts v. 37 and 
Luke ii. 2. 

* In southern Latium, close to the Appian Way. 

597 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

ministeriis consulatum sub divo Augusto, mox expu- 
gnatis super ^ Ciliciam Homonadensium castellis 
insignia triumphi adeptus, datusque rector C. Caesari 
Armeniam obtinenti. Tiberium quoque Rhodi agen- 
tem coluerat : quod tunc patefecit in senatu, lauda- 
tis in se officiis et inousato M. Lrollio, quern auctorem 
Gaio Caesari pravitatis et discordiarum arguebat. 
Sed ceteris baud laeta memoria Quirini erat ob 
intenta, ut memoravi, Lepidae pericula sordidamque 
et praepotentem senectam. 

XLIX. Fine anni Clutorium Priscum equitem 
Romanum, post celebre carmen quo Germanici su- 
prema defleverat, pecunia donatum a Caesare, 
corripuit delator, obiectans aegro Druso composuisse 
quod, si extinctus foret, maiore praemio vulgaretur. 
Id Clutorius in domo P. Petronii socru eius Vitellia 
coram multisque inlustribus feminis per vanilo- 
quentiam iecerat.^ Vt delator exstitit, ceteris ad 
dicendum testimonium exterritis, sola Vitellia nihil 

^ anpev Haupt : per. ^ iecerat Weissbrodt: legerat. 

1 . . . gens Homonadum, quorum intus oppidum Homona : 
cetera castella XLIV inter asperas convalles latent, Plin. H.N. 
V. 27. They had the reputation of being dXrjirroTaToc (Strab. 
569). 

* For Gains Caesar in Armenia, see II. 4 ; for Tiberius at 
Rhodes, I. 4. 

3 Consul in 21 b.c. ; defeated by the Germans in 16 b.c. with 
the loss of an eagle (Lolliana clades, 1. 10) ; rector to C. Caesar in 
1—2 A.D. ; abstinens Ducentis ad se cuncta pecuniae according to 
Horace (Carm. IV. 9), but infamatns regum muneribus in toto 
oriente according to Pliny (H.N. IX. 35); disgraced and died 
(by suicide ?) in 2 a.d. 

* Dio gives the name as C. Lutorius Priscus, and describes 
him as /xc'ya eni Troirjaei (f>pova)v (LVII. 20) ; Pliny {H.N. VII. . 
39) mentions him as paying a fabulous price for one of Sejanus' j 
eunuchs. [ 

598 ^ 



BOOK III. xLviii.-xLix. 

servant he won a consulate under the deified Augus- 
tus, and, a little later, by capturing the Homonaden- 
sian strongholds beyond the Cihcian frontier,^ earned 
the insignia of triumph. After his appointment, again, 
as adviser to Gaius Caesar during his command in 
Armenia, he had shown himself no less attentive 
to Tiberius, who was then residing in Rhodes.^ This 
circumstance the emperor now disclosed in the 
senate, coupling a panegyric on his good offices to 
himself ^yith a condemnation of Marcus Lollius,^ 
whom he accused of instigating the cross-grained 
and provocative attitude of Gaius Caesar. In the rest 
of men, however, the memory of Quirinius awoke no 
enthusiasm, in view of his attempt (already noticed) 
to ruin Lepida, and the combination of meanness 
with exorbitant power which had marked his later 
days. 

XLIX. At the end of the year, Clutorius Priscus,* 
a Roman knight, who had Been presented by the 
emperor with a sum of money in return for a widely 
circulated poem deploring the death of Germanicus, 
was attacked by an informer ; the charge being that 
during an illness of Drusus he had composed another 
set of verses, to be published, in the event of his 
death, vvith a yet more lucrative result. Clutorius, 
vrith foolish loquacity, had boasted of his perform- 
ance in the house of Publius Petronius,^ before his 
host's mother-in-law, \'itellia, and many women of 
rank. \Vhen the informer appeared, the rest were 
terrified into giving evidence ; Vitellia alone insisted 

* Afterwards proconsul of Asia for six years and governor of 
Syria for three; t-^ <f>vaiv evfievfjs koI rjfj.€pos (Philo, t. II. 582 
Mangey) ; an old friend of Claudaus, and therefore ridiculed by 
Seneca (homo Claicdiana lingua disertus, Apoc. 14). 

599 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

se audivisse adseveravit. Sed arguentibus ad perni- 
ciem plus fidei fuit, sententiaque Haterii Agrippae 
consulis designati indictum reo ultimum supplicium, 
L. Contra M'.^ Lepidus in hunc modum exorsus 
est : " Si, patres conscripti, unum id spectamus, 
quam nefaria voce Clutorius Priscus mentem suam 
et auris hominum polluerit, neque career neque la- 
queus, ne serviles quidem eruciatus in eum sufFe- 
cerint. Sin flagitia et facinora sine modo sunt, sup- 
pliciis ac remediis principis moderatio maiorumque 
et vestra exempla temperant et vana a scelestis, dicta 
a maleficiis difFerunt, est locus sententiae per quam 
neque huic delictum impune sit et nos clementiae 
simul ac severitatis non paeniteat. Saepe audivi 
principem nostrum conquerentem si quis sumpta 
morte misericordiam eius praevenisset. Vita Clutorii 
in integro est, qui neque servatus in periculum rei 
publicae neque interfectus in exemplum ibit. Studia 
illi ut plena vaecordiSe, ita inania et fluxa sunt ; 
nee quicquam grave ac serium ex eo metuas qui 
suorum ipse flagitiorum proditor non virorum ani- 
mis sed muliercularum adrepit. Cedat tamen urbe 
et bonis amissis aqua et igni arceatur : quod perinde 
censeo ac si lege maiestatis teneretur." 

^ M'. Lipsius : M. 



^ Chap. 14, note. 

* Torture and crucifixion. 

^ Lepidus hints, first, that it may be doubted whether 
Clutorius' offence falls under the lex maiestatis ; second, that, 
even should that be the case, the legal penalty is not death but 
outlawrj'^. The editors cite Paul. Sent. rec. V. 29, § 1, antea 
in perpetuum aqua et igni interdicebatur ; nunc vero humiliores 
bestiis obiciuntur vel vivi exuruntur, honestiores capite puniuntur. 

6oo 



BOOK III. xLi.\.-L. 

that she had heard nothing. However, the witnesses 
who supported the fatal charge were considered the 
more credible ; and, on the motion of the consul 
designate, Haterius Agrippa, the last penalty was 
invoked against the culprit. 

L. Opposition came from Manius Lepidus, whose 
speech ran thus : — " If, Conscript Fathers, we regard 
one point only, — the enormity of the utterance by 
which Clutorius Priscus has defiled his o^^ti soul and 
the ears of men, — neither the cell, nor the noose,^ 
nor even the torments reserved for slaves ^ are ade 
quate to his punishment. But if, while vice and 
crime are limitless, the penalties and remedies of 
both are tempered by the sovereign's moderation 
and by the example of your ancestors and yourselves ; 
if there is a difference between fatuity and \illainy, 
between evil-speaking and evil-doing ; then there is 
room for a proposal which neither leaves the defend- 
ant's guilt unpunished nor gives us cause to rue 
either our softness or our hardness of heart. Time 
and again I have heard our prince express his regret 
when anvone by taking his own life had forestalled 
his clemency. Clutorius' life is still intact : he is a 
man whom to spare can involve no pubhc menace ; 
whom to slay can create no public deterrent. His 
occupations are as futile and erratic as they are 
charged with folly ; nor can any grave and consider- 
able danger be expected from a person who by be- 
traying his o>vn infamy insinuates himself into the 
favour not of men but of silly women. Expel him, 
however, from Rome, confiscate his property, ban 
him from fire and water : this is my proposal, and I 
make it precisely as though he were guilty under 
the law of treason." ^ 

6oi 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

LI. Solus Lepido Rubellius Blandus e consularibus 
adsensit : ceteri sententiam Agrippae secuti, ductus- 
que in carcerem Priscus ac statim exanimatus. Id 
Tiberius solitis sibi ambagibus apud senatum incu- 
savit, cum extolleret pietatem quamvis niodicas 
principis iniurias acriter ulciscentium, deprecaretur 
tarn praecipitis verborum poenas, laudaret Lepidum 
neque Agrippam argueret. Igitur factum senatus 
consultum ne decreta patrum ante diem decimum ^ 
ad aerarium deferrentur idque vitae spatium damna- 
tis prorogaretur. Bed non senatui libertas ad paeni- 
tendum erat neque Tiberius interiectu temporis 
mitigabatur. 

LII. C. Sulpicius D. Haterius consules sequuntur, 
inturbidus externis rebus annus, domi suspecta 
severitate adversum luxum qui inunensum pro- 
ruperat ad cuncta quis pecunia prodigitur. Sed 
alia sumptuum quamvis graviora dissimulatis ple- 
rumque pretiis occultabantur ; ventris et ganeae 
paratus adsiduis sermonibus vulgati fecerant curam 
ne princeps antiquae parsimoniae durius adverteret. 
Nam incipiente C. Bibulo ceteri quoque aediles disse- 
ruerant, sperni sumptuariam legem vetitaque utensi- 
lium pretia augeri in dies nee mediocribus remediis 

1 diem decimum Lipsius : diem. i 

1 Senatorial decrees only became operative when deposited 
in the aerarium — the temple of Saturn on the Capitoline, close 
by the temple of Concord. The period of grace was afterwards 
extended to thirty days. 

2 C. Sulpicius Galba, elder brother of the future emperor. 

3 I. 77 ; II. 51 ; above, chap. 49 ; VI. 4. 
* Probably the lex lulia of 22 b.c. (D. Cass. LIV. 2) ; itsj 

scale of expenditure for the cena may be foimd in Gell. II. 24. 

6o2 



BOOK III. Li.-Lii. 

LI. A single ex-consul, RubelUus Blandus, con 
curred with Lepidus : the remainder followed 
Agrippa's motion ; and Priscus was led to the cells 
and immediately executed. This promptitude drew 
a typically ambiguous reprimand from Tiberius in 
the senate. He commended the loyalty of members, 
who avenged so sharply insults, however shght, to 
the head of the state, but deprecated such a hurried 
punishment of a verbal offence. Lepidus he praised ; 
Agrippa he did not blame. It was therefore resolved 
that no senatorial decree should be entered in the 
Treasury before the lapse of nine full days,^ all 
prisoners under sentence of death to be reprieved 
for that period. But the senate had not liberty to 
repent, nor was Tiberius usually softened by the 
interval. 

LI I. The consulate of Gains Sulpicius^ and Decimus a,t.c. 775 
Haterius ^ followed : a year of quiet abroad, though *^' ^^ 
at home there was uneasiness at the prospect of 
stem measures against the luxurv' which had broken 
all bounds and extended to every object on which 
money can be squandered. But other extravagances, 
though actually more serious, could as a rule be 
kept private by concealing the prices paid : it was 
the apparatus of gluttony and intemperance which 
had become the eternal theme of gossip and had 
awakened anxiety lest a prince of old-world thrifti- 
ness might adopt too harsh measures. For, when 
the point was mooted by Gains Bibulus, it had been 
maintained by his fellow-aediles also that the sump- 
tuary law* was a dead letter; that the prohibited 
prices for articles of food were rising daily ; and 
that the advance could not be checked by moderate 
methods. The senate, too, when consulted, had 

603 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

sisti posse et consulti patres integrum id negotium 
ad principem distulerant. Sed Tiberius saepe apud 
se pensitato an coerceri tarn profusae cupidines pos- 
sent, num coercitio plus damni in rem publicam ferret, 
quam indecorum adtrectare quod non obtineret vel 
retentum ignominiam et infamiam virorum inlus- 
trium posceret, postremo litteras ad senatum com- 
posuit quarum sententia in hunc modum fuit : 

LIII. " Ceteris forsitan in rebus, patres conscripti, 
magis expediat me coram interrogari et dicere quid 
e re publica censeam ; in hac relatione subtrahi 
oculos meos melius fuit, ne, denotantibus vobis 
ora ac metum singulorum qui pudendi luxus argue- 
rentur, ipse etiam viderem eos ac velut deprende- 
rem. Quod si mecum ante viri strenui, aediles, 
consilium habuissent, nescio an suasurus fuerim 
omittere potius praevalida et adulta vitia quam hoc 
adsequi, ut palam fieret quibus flagitiis impares 
essemus. Sed illi quidem officio functi sunt, ut cete- 
ros quoque magistratus sua munia implere velim ; 
mihi autem neque honestum silere neque proloqui 
expeditum, quia non aedilis aut praetoris aut con- 
sulis partis sustineo. Maius aliquid et excelsius 
a principe postulatur ; et cum recte factorum sibi 
quisque gratiam trahant, unius invidia ab omni- 
bus peccatur. Quid enim primum prohibere et pris- 

604 



BOOK III. Lii.-Liii. 

referred the question M-ithout any discussion to the 
emperor. But Tiberius, after debating with himself 
repeatedly whether it was possible to arrest these 
uncurbed passions, whether such an arrest might not 
prove an even greater national exW, and what would 
be the loss of dignity should he attempt a reform which 
could not be enforced, or, if enforced, would demand 
the degradation and disgrace of his most illustrious 
subjects, finally composed a letter to the senate, the 
drift of which was as follows : — 

LIII. " On other occasions. Conscript Fathers, 
it is perhaps preferable that, if my opinion is needed 
on a matter of pubhc policy, the question should be 
put and answered when I am present ; but in this 
debate it was better that my eyes should be >\'ith- 
drawn; otherwise, through your indicating the 
anxious features of members who might be charged 
with indecent luxury, I too might see and, so to 
speak, detect them. If our active aediles had 
taken me into their counsels beforehand, I am not 
sure but that I should have advised them to leave 
vigorous and full-blown vices alone, rather than 
force matters to an issue which might only inform 
the world with what abuses we were powerless to 
cope. Still, they have done their duty — and I could 
wish to see every other magistrate as thorough in 
the discharge of his office. But for myself it is 
neither honourable to be silent nor easy to be out- 
spoken, because it is not the part of aedile or praetor 
or consul that I act. Something greater and more 
exalted is demanded from a prince ; and, while the 
credit of his successes is arrogated by even*' man to 
himself, when all err it is one alone who bears the 
odium. For on what am I to make my first effort 

60 q 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

cum ad morem recidere adgrediar? villarumne 
infinita spatia ? familiarum numerum et nationes ? 
argenti et auri pondus ? aeris tabularumque mira- 
cula ? promiscas viris et feminis vestis atque ilia 
feminarum propria, quis lapiduiti causa pecuniae 
nostrae ad externas aut hostilis gentis transfe- 
runtur ? 

LIV. " Nee ignore in conviviis et circulis incu- 
sari ista et modum posci ; set si quis legem sanciat, 
poenas indicat, idem illi civitatem verti, splendi- 
dissimo cuique exitium parari, neminem criminis 
expertem clamitabunt. Atqui ne corporis quidem 
morbos veteres et diu auctos nisi per dura et aspera 
coerceas : corruptus simul et corrupter, aeger et 
flagrans animus baud levioribus remediis restin- 
guendus est quam libidinibus ardescit. Tot a maio- 
ribus repertae leges, tot quas divus Augustus tulit, 
illae oblivione, hae, quod flagitiosius est, contemptu 
abolitae securiorem luxum fecere. Nam si velis 
quod nondum vetitum est, timeas ne vetere ; at si 
prohibita impune transcenderis, neque metus ultra 
neque pudor est. Cur ergo olim parsimonia polle- 
bat ? quia sibi quisque moderabatur, quia ^ unius 

^ sibi quisque moderabatur, quia Beroaldus : sibique 
moderabatur qua. 

^ The subject is often touched, and usually in this strain of 
hyperbole. A fair example is Sen. Ep. 89 : — Omnibus licet 
locis tecta vestra sflendeant, alicubi imposita montibus . . . 
alicubi ex piano in altiiudinem montium educta e.q.s. 

2 Cf. IV. 27, XIV. 43 and 44. The servile population was 
doubtless enormous ; but modern attempts to estimate it have 
simply demonstrated that the data are inadequate for the task. 

* " Corinthian " bronzes, the price of which had risen 
sharply under Tiberius (Suet. Tib. 34). 

* See II. 33. 

6o6 



I 



BOOK III. Lni.-Li\. 

at prohibition and retrenchment to the ancient 
standard ? On the infinite expanse of our villas ? ^ 
The numbers — the nations — of our slaves ? ^ The 
weight of our silver and gold? The miracles of 
bronze ^ and canvas ? The promiscuous dress of male 
and female * — and the specially female extravagance 
by which, for the sake of jewels, our wealth is trans- 
ported to alien or hostile countries ? " 

LIV. " I am aware that at dinner-parties and 
social gatherings these things are condemned, and 
the call is for restriction ; but let any one pass a law 
and prescribe a penalty, and the same voices yiiW be 
uplifted against ' this subversion of the state, this 
death-blow to all magnificence, this charge of which 
not a man is guiltless ' ! And yet even bodily 
ailments, if they are old and inveterate, can be 
checked only by severe and harsh remedies ; and, 
corrupted alike and corrupting, a sick and fevered 
soul needs for its relief remedies not less sharp than 
the passions which inflame it. All the laws our 
ancestors discovered, all which the deified Auofustus 
enacted, are now buried, those in obli\-ion, these — 
to our yet greater shame — in contempt. And this 
it is that has given luxury its greater boldness. For 
if you covet something which is not yet prohibited, 
there is always a fear that prohibition may come ; 
but once you have crossed forbidden ground with 
impunity, you have left your tremors and blushes 
behind. — TTien why was frugality once the rule ? — 
Because every man controlled himself; because we 

* A good many Roman coins have been found, for instance. 
on the pepper-coast of Malabar. Indeed, the constant efflux 
of the precious metals, combined with gradual exhaustion of 
the mines, was one of the causes which led ultimately to the 
debasement of the coinage. 

607 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

urbis cives eramus ; ne inritamenta quidem eadem 
intra Italiam dominantibus. Externis victoriis alie- 
na, civilibus etiam nostra consumere didicimus. 
Quantulum istud est de quo aediles admonent ! 
Quam, si cetera respieias, in levi habendum ! At 
hercule nemo refert quod Italia externae opis indi- 
get, quod vita populi Romani per incerta maris et 
tempestatum cotidie volvitur. Ac nisi provincia- 
rum copiae et dominis et servitiis et agris subve- 
nerint, nostra nos scilicet nemora nostraeque villae 
tuebuntur. Hanc, patres conscripti, curam sustinet 
princeps ; haec omissa funditus rem publicam trahet. 
Reliquis intra animum medendum est: nos pudor, 
pauperes necessitas, divites satias in melius mutet. 
Aut si quis ex magistratibus tantam industriam ac 
severitatem pollicetur ut ire obviam queat, hunc 
ego et laudo et exonerari laborum meorum partem 
fateor : sin accusare vitia volunt, dein, cum gloriam 
eius rei adepti sunt, simultates faciunt ac mihi 
relinquunt, credite, patres conscripti, me quoque 
non esse offensionum avidum ; quas cum gravis et 
plerumque iniquas pro re publica suscipiam, inanis 
et inritas neque mihi aut vobis usui futuras iure 
deprecor." 

LV. Auditis Caesaris litteris, remissa aedilibus 
talis cura ; luxusque mensae a fine Actiaci belli ad 

^ On the grain-fleet from Alexandria and the merchantmen 
from the province of Africa : cf . XII. 43, Africam potius et 
Aegyptum exercemus, navibusque et casibus vita populi Romani 
commissa est. 

608 



BOOK III. Liv.-Lv. 

were burghers of a single town ; nor were there 
even the same temptations while our empire was 
confined to Italy. By Ndctories abroad we learned to 
waste the substance of others ; by \ictories at home, 
our own. How little a thing it is to which the aediles 
call attention I How tri\ial, if you cast your eyes 
around; But, Heaven knows, not a man pK)ints out 
in a motion that Italy depends on external supplies, 
and that the life of the Roman nation is tossed day 
after day at the uncertain mercy of wave and wind.^ 
And if the harvests of the pro\-inces ever fail to come 
to the rescue of master and slave and farm, our 
parks and vUlas will presumably have to supp>ort us ! 
That, Conscript Fathers, is a charge which rests upon 
the shoulders of the prince ; that charge neglected 
will involve the state in utter ruin. For other ills 
the remedy must be within our own breasts : let 
improvement come to you and me from self-respect, 
to the poor from necessity, to the rich from satiety. 
Or, if there is a magistrate who can promise the 
requisite energy and severity, I give him my praises 
and confess my responsibilities lightened. But if it 
is the way of reformers to be zealous in denouncing 
corruption, and later, after reaping the credit of their 
denunciation, to create enmities and bequeath them 
to myself, then beUeve me, Conscript Fathers, I too 
am not eager to incur animosities. True, while they 
are serious — and often iniquitous — I face them for 
the sake of the state ; but when they are idle, 
unmeaning, and unlikely to profit myself or you, I 
beg with justice to be excused." 

LV. When the Caesar's epistle had been read, the 
aediles were exempted from such a task ; and spend- 
thrift epicureanism, after being practised with ex- 

609 

VOL. II. K R 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

ea arma quis Servius Galba reruni adeptus est, per 
annos centum profusis sumptibus exerciti, paulatim 
exolevere. Causas eius mutationis quaerere libet. 
Dites olim familiae nobilium aut claritudine insignes 
studio magnificentiae prolabebantur. Nam etiam 
tum plebem, socios, regna colere et coli licitum ; 
ut quisque opibus, domo, paratu speciosus per nomen 
et clientelas inlusti'ior habebatur. Postquam caedi- 
bus saevitum et magnitudo famae exitio erat, ceteri 
ad sapientiora convertere. Simul novi homines e 
municipiis et coloniis atque etiam provinciis in sena- 
tum crebro adsumpti domesticam parsimoniam intu- 
lerunt, et, quamquam fortuna vel industria plerique 
pecuniosam ad senectam pervenirent, mansit tamen 
prior animus. Sed praecipuus adstricti moris auctor 
Vespasianus fuit, antiquo ipse cultu \'ictuque. 
Obsequium inde in principem et aemulandi amor 
validior quam poena ex legibus et metus. Nisi 
forte rebus cunctis inest quidam velut orbis, ut 
quern ad modum temporum vices, ita morum ver- 
tantur ; nee omnia apud priores meliora, sed nostra 
quoque aetas multa laudis et artium imitanda 
posteris tulit. Verum haec nobis in maiores ^ certa- 
mina ex honesto maneant. 

^ in maiores Lipsius (erga m. Rhenanus) : maiores. 

» 31 B.C.-68 A.D. 

* Under Tiberius (in his later years), Caligula, Claudius (of. 
Sen. Ajioc. 14), and Nero. 

6l0 



BOOK III. Lv. 

travagant prodigality throughout the century between 
the close of the Actian War and the struggle which 
placed Servius Galba on the throne,^ went gradually 
out of vogue. The causes of that change may well 
be investigated. 

Formerly aristocratic famihes of wealth or out- 
standing distinction were apt to be led to their 
downfall by a passion for magnificence. For it was 
still legitimate to court or be courted by the populace, 
by the pro%"incials, by dependent princes: and the 
more handsome the fortime, the palace, the estab- 
hshment of a man, the more imposing his reputation 
and his cHentele. After the merciless executions,- 
when greatness of fame was death, the survivors 
turned to wiser paths. At the same time, the self- 
made men, repeatedly drafted into the senate from 
the municipaUties and colonies, and even from the 
pro\4nces, introduced the plain-h^ing habits of their 
own hearths : and although by good fortune or 
industrj- very many arrived at an old age of affluence, 
yet their prepossessions persisted to the end. But 
the main promoter of the stricter code was \'es- 
pasian, himself of the old school in his person 
and table. Thenceforward, deference to the sove- 
reign and the love of emulating him proved more 
powerful than legal sanctions and deterrents. Or 
should we rather say there is a kind of cycle in all 
things — moral as well as seasonal revolutions ? Nor, 
indeed, were all things better in the old time before 
us ; but ovu: owtq age too has produced much in the 
sphere of true nobility and much in that of art 
which posterity well may imitate. In any case, 
may the honourable competition of our present with 
our past long remain I 

6ii 
aa 2 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

LVI. Tiberius, fama moderationis parta quod 
ingruentis accusatores represserat, mittit litteras ad 
senatum quis potestatem tribuniciam Druso petebat. 
Id summi fastigii vocabulum Augustus repperit, ne 
regis aut dictatoris nomen adsumeret ac tamen 
appellatione aliqua cetera imperia praeniineret. 
Marcum deinde Agrippam socium eius potestatis, 
quo defuncto Tiberium Neronem delegit ne successor 
in incerto foret. Sic cohiberi pravas aliorum spes 
rebatur; simul modestiae Neronis et suae magni- 
tudini fidebat. Quo tunc exemplo Tiberius Drusuni 
summae rei admovit,^ cum incolunii Germanico 
integrum inter duos iudicium tenuisset. Sed princi- 
pio litterarum veneratus deos ut consilia sua rei 
publicae prosperarent, modica de moribus adules- 
centis neque in falsum aucta rettulit. Esse illi 
coniugem et tres liberos eamque aetatem qua ipse 
quondam a divo Augusto ad capessendum hoc munus 
vocatus sit. Neque nunc propere, sed per octo 
annos capto experimento, eompressis seditionibus, 
compositis bellis, triumphalem et bis consulem noti 
laboris participem sumi. 

LVII. Praeceperant animis orationem patres ; quo 
quaesitior adulatio fuit. Nee tamen repertum nisi 
ut effigies principum, aras deum, templa et arcus 

^ admovit Halm : admovet. 

^ They would have had an admirable field of activity if the 
proposed sumptuary legislation had been carried. 

2 He received the title for life in June, 23 e.g., and five years 
later conferred it on Agrippa, who held it till his death in 12 B.C. 

^ The phrase is rather misleading, since it was not till 9 or 
6 B.C. that he was given the title for five years ; and only upon 
his adoption by Augustus after the death of Gaius Caesar in 
4 A.D. was it renewed. 

* The thirty -fifth year. 
6l2 



BOOK III. LVT.-LVII. 

LVI. Tiberius, now that his check to the onrush of 
informers^ had earned him a character for moderation, 
sent a letter to the senate desiring the tiibunician 
power for Drusus. This phrase for the supreme 
dignity was discovered by Augustus ; who was re- 
luctant to take the st}'le of king or dictator, yet 
desirous of some title indicating liis pre-eminence 
over all other authorities. ^ Later, he selected 
Marcus Agrippa as his partner in that power, then, 
on Agrippa's decease,^ Tiberius Nero ; Ms object 
being to leave the succession in no doubt. In this 
way, he considered, he would stifle the misconceived 
hopes of other aspirants; while, at the same time, 
he had faith in Nero's self-restraint and in his 
own greatness. In accordance with this precedent, 
Tiberius then placed Drusus on the threshold of the 
empire, although in Germanicus' lifetime he had 
held his judgment suspended between the pair. — 
Now, however, after opening his letter with a 
prayer that Heaven would prosper his counsels to 
the good of the realm, he devoted a few sentences, 
free from false embellishments, to the character of 
the youth: — "He had a wife and three children; 
and he had reached the age * at which, formerly, he!, 
himself had been called by the deified Augustus to' 
undertake the same charge. Nor' was it in haste, 
but only after eight years of trial, after mutinies 
repressed, wars composed, one triumph, and two 
consulates, that he was now admitted to share a 
task already familiar." 

LVII. The members had foreseen this pronounce- 
ment, and their flatteries were therefore well pre- 
pared. Invention, however, went no further than 
to decree effigies of the princes, altars to the gods, 

613 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

aliaque solita censerent, nisi quod M, Silanus ex 
contumelia consulatus honorem principibus petivit 
dixitque pro sententia ut publicis privatisve moni- 
mentis, ad memoriam temporum, non consulum 
nomina praescriberentur, sed eorum qui tribuniciam 
potestatem gererent. At Q.^ Haterius cum eius diei 
senatus consulta aureis litteris figenda in curia cen- 
suisset deridiculo fuit senex foedissimae adulationis 
tantum infamia usurus. 

LVIII. Inter quae provincia Africa lunio Blaeso 
prorogata, Servius Maluginensis flamen Dialis ut 
Asiam sorte haberet postulavit, frustra vulgatum 
dictitans non licere Dialibus egredi Italia neque 
aliud ius suum quam Martialium Quirinaliumque 
flaminum : porro, si hi duxissent provincias, cur 
Dialibus id vetitum? Nulla de eo populi scita, non 
in libris caerimoniarum reperiri. Saepe pontifices 
Dialia sacra fecisse, si flamen valetudine aut munere 
publico impediretur. Quinque ^ et septuaginta annis 
post Cornelii Merulae caedem, neminem sufFectum 
neque tamen cessavisse religiones. Quod si per tot 
annos possit non creari nullo sacrorum damno, quanto 
facilius afuturum ad unius anni proconsular e im- 

^ at Q. Lipsius : atque. 

^ quinque Lachmann : duobus. 

1 See above, chap. 24. « IV. 61. 

3 See chap. 35. 

* The fifteen Flamens (" kindlers "), a priesthood of im- 
memorial antiquity, were devoted each to the service of a specia 1 
cult. Twelve were of secondary importance : of the remaining 
three the chief was the Flamen of Jupiter (Fl. Dialis). The 
extraordinary taboos, which must have embittered liis 
existence but have endeared him to the anthropologists, are 
enumerated by Aulus Gellius (X. 15). 

614 



BOOK III. Lvii.-Lviii. 

temples, arches, and other time-worn honours.' An 
exception was when Marcus Silanus ^ sought a com- 
phment to the principate in a shght to the consulship, 
and proposed that onpublic and private moniunentsthe 
inscription recording the date should bear the names, 
not of the consuls for the year, but of the persons 
exercising the tribunician power. Quintus Haterius,^ 
who moved that the day's resolutions should be set 
up in the senate-house in letters of gold, was derided 
as an old man who could reap nothing from his 
repulsive adulation save its infamy. 

LVIII. Meanwhile, after the governorship of 
Junius Blaesus ^ in Africa had been extended, the 
Flamen Dialis,* Ser\ius Maluginensis, demanded the 
allotment of Asia ^ to himself. " It was a common 
fallacy," he insisted, " that the flamens of Jove were 
not allowed to leave Italy ; nor was his own legal 
status different from that of the flamens of Mars 
and Quirinus. If, then, they had had pro\inces 
allotted them, why was the right withheld from the 
priests of Jove ? There was no national decree to 
be found on the point — nothing in the Books of 
Ceremonies. The pontiffs had often performed the 
rites of Jove, if the flamen was prevented by sickness 
or pubhc business. For seventy-five years after the 
self-murder of Cornelius Merula ® no one had been 
appointed in his room, yet the rites had not been 
interrupted. But if so many years could elapse 
without a new creation, and without detriment to 
the cult, how much more easily could he absent him- 
self for twelve months of proconsular authority ? 

* The case is much the same as in the year before (see chap. 
"2. note), since Africa is again reserved for Blaesus. 
"^ In 87 B.C. on the rr-tum of Cinna. 

615 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

perium? Privatis olim simultatibus effectum ut a 
pontificibus maximis ire in provincias prohiberentur : 
nunc deum munere svtmmum pontificum etiam sum- 
mum hominum esse, non aemulationi, non odio aut 
privatis adfectionibus obnoxium. 

LIX. Adversus quae cum augur Lentulus aliique 
varie dissererent, eo decursum est ut pontificis 
maximi sententiam opperirentur. Tiberius, dilata 
notione de iure flaminis,decretas ob tribunieiamDrusi 
potestatem caerimonias temperavit, nominatim ar- 
guens insolentiam sententiae aureasque litteras con- 
tra patrium morem. Recitatae et Drusi epistulae, 
quamquam ad modestiam flexae, pro superbissimis 
accipiuntur. Hue decidisse cuncta ut ne iuvenis 
quidem tanto honore accepto adiret urbis deos, 
ingrederetur senatum, auspicia saltern gentile apud 
solxmi inciperet. Bellum scilicet aut diverso terra- 
rum distineri, litora et lacus Campaniae cum maxime 
peragrantem. Sic imbui rectorem generis humani, 
id primum e paternis consiliis discere. Sane grava- 
retur aspectum civium senex imperator fessamque 
aetatem et actos labores praetenderet ; Druso quod 
nisi ex adrogantia impedimentum ? 

LX. Sed Tiberius, vim principatus sibi firmans, 

^ From 12 B.C. the title was invariably conferred on the 
emperor, until finally it passed to the bishops of Rome. 

2 Cn. Cornelius Lentulus, consul 14 b.c. ; proconsul of Asia, 
1 B.C.; famous for his wealth (estimated at 400,000,000 
sesterces), his stupidity and his slowness of speech (ta^n piisilli 
oris quam animi ; cum esset avarissimus, nummas citius 
emittebat quam verba. Sen. De ben. II. 27) ; committed suicide 
under Tiberius (Suet. Tib. 49). 

6i6 



BOOK III. Lviii.-Lx. 

'. x-sonal rivalries had no doubt in former times led 

16 pontiffs to prohibit his order from \isiting the 

lONinces : to-day, by the grace of Heaven, the chief 

ontiff was also the chief of men.^ beyond the reach 

f jealousy, rancour, or private inclinations." 

LIX. Since various objections to the argument 

were raised by the augur Lentulus ^ and others, it 

was determined, in the upshot, to wait for the verdict 

of the supreme pontiff himself. 

Tiberius postponed his inquiry into the legal stand- 
ing of the flamen, but modified the ceremonies with 
which it had been resolved to celebrate the tribuni- 
cian power of Drusus ; criticizing specifically the 
unprecedented motion of Haterius and the gold 
lettering so repugnant to Roman custom. A letter, 
too, from Drusus was read, which, though tuned to a 
modest key, left an impression of extreme arrogance. 
" So the world," men said, " had come to this, that 
even a mere boy, invested A^ith such an honour, 
would not approach the di\inities of Rome, set foot 
within the senate, or, at the least, take the auspices 
on his native soil. War, they must assume, or some 
remote quarter of the world detained him ; though 
at that instant he was perambulating the lakes and 
beaches of Campania! Such was the initiation of 
the governor of the human race, these the first lessons 
derived from the paternal instruction ! A grey- 
haired emperor might, if he pleased, recoil from the 
view of his fellow-citizens, and plead the fatigue of 
age and the labours he had accomplished: but, in 
the case of Drusus, what impediment could there be 
save pride? " 

LX. Tiberius, however, while tightening his grasp 
on the solid power of the principate, vouchsafed to the 

617 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

imaginem antiquitatis senatui praebebat, postulata 
provinciarum ad disquisitionem patrum mittendo. 
Crebrescebat enim Graecas per urbes licentia atque 
impunitas asyla statuendi; complebantur templa 
pessimis servitiorum ; eodem subsidio obaerati ad- 
versum creditores suspectique capitalium criminum 
receptabantur, nee ullum satis validum imperium 
erat coercendis seditionibus populi flagitia hominum 
ut caerimonias deum protegentis. Igitur placitum 
ut mitterent civitates iura atque legates. Et quae- 
dam quod falso usurpaverant sponte omisere ; mul- 
tae vetustis superstitionibus aut meritis in popu- 
lum Romanum fidebant. Magnaque eius diei spe- 
cies fuit quo senatus maiorum beneficia, sociorum 
pacta, regum etiam qui ante vim Romanam value- 
rant decreta ipsorumque numinum religiones intro- 
spexit, libero, ut quondam, quid firmaret mutaretve. 
IvXI. Primi omnium Ephesii adiere, memorantes 
non, ut vulgus crederet, Dianam atque Apollinem 
Delo genitos : esse apud se Cenchrium amneni . 
lucum 1 Ortygiam, ubi Latonam partu gravidam et 
oleae, quae tum etiam maneat, adnisam edidisse ea 
niimina, deorumque monitu sacratum nemus, atque 
ipsum illic Apollinem post interfectos Cyclopas lovis 
iram vitavisse. Mox Liberum patrem, bello victo- 
rem, supplicibus Amazonum quae aram insiderani 
ignovisse. Auctam hinc concessu Herculis, cum 

^ lucum Lipsius : locum. 



6i8 



^ But only of the senatorial provinces. 
* A common poetical name for Delos. 



BOOK II. Lx.-Lxi. 

senate a shadow of the past by submitting the 
claims of the provinces ^ to the discussion of its mem- 
bers. For throughout the Greek cities there was a 
growing laxity, and impunity, in the creation of 
rights of asylum. The temples were filled ^\ith the 
dregs of the slave population ; the same shelter Avas 
extended to the debtor against his creditor and to 
the man suspected of a capital offence ; nor Avas any 
authority powerful enough to quell the factions of a 
race which protected human felony equally with 
divine worship. It was resolved, therefore, that the 
communities in question should send their charters 
and deputies to Rome. A few abandoned without a 
struggle the claims they had asserted without a 
title : many relied on hoary superstitions or on their 
services to the Roman nation. It was an impressive 
spectacle which that day afforded, when the senate 
scrutinized the benefactions of its predecessors, the 
constitutions of the provinces, even the decrees of 
kings whose power antedated the arms of Rome, and 
the rites of the deities themselves, with full liberty 
as of old to confirm or change. 

LXI. The Ephesians were the first to appear. 
" Apollo and Diana," they stated, " were not, as 
commonly supposed, bom at Delos. In Ephesus 
there was a river Cenchrius, Avith a grove Ortygia^; 
where Latona, heavy-wombed and supporting her- 
self by an olive-tree which remained to that day, 
gave birth to the heavenly twins. The grove had 
been halloAved by divine injunction ; and there Apollo 
himself, after slaying the Cyclopes, had evaded the 
anger of Jove. Afterwards Father Liber, victor in 
the war, had pardoned the suppliant Amazons who 
had seated themselves at tlie altar. Then the sanctity 

6rQ 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

I^ydia potei'etur, caerimoniam templo neque Per- 
sarum dicione deminutum ius : post Macedonas, dein 
nos servavisse. 

LXII. Proximi hos Magnates ^ L. Scipionis et L. 
Sullae eonstitutis nitebantur, quorum ille Antiocho, 
hie Mithridate pulsis fidem atque virtutem Magnetum 
decoravere, uti Dianae Leucophrynae ^ perfugium 
inviolabile foret. Aphrodisienses posthac et Stra- 
tonicenses dictatoris Caesai-is ob vetusta in partis 
merita et recens divi Augusti decretum adtulere. 
laudati quod Parthorum inruptionem nihil nnitata 
in popuUim Ilomanum constantia pertuhssent. Sed 
Aphrodisiensium ci vitas Veneris, Stratonicensium 
lovis et Triviae religionem tuebantur. Altius Hiero- 
caesarienses exposuere, Persicam apud se Dianam, 
delubrum rege Cyro dicatum; et memorabantur 
Perpennae, Isaurici multaque alia imperatoruni 
nomina qui non modo templo, sed duobus milibus 
passuum eandem sanctitatem tribuerant. Exim 
Cyprii tribus de delubris,^ quorum vetustissimum 

1 proximi hos Magnetos Wurm (proximi Magnetes Frein- 
sheim) : proximosnagnetes. 

2 Loxicophrynae Lipsius (Loucopliryeiiae Beroahlus) : leuco- 
phinae. 

^ de dolubris Bezzenherger : delubris. 

1 Here, and at IV. 55, not the Magnetes a Sipylo of II. 47, 
but those of Magnesia on the Maeander. 

2 In 190 B.C. and 88 B.C. : see Liv. XXXVII. 46 and Epit. 
LXXX. 

^ So named, apparently, from an older town, Leucophrys, on 
the site of which Magnesia stood. 

* Stratonicea (named after the famous daughter of Demetrius 
Poliorcetes, wife of Seleucus and Antiochus Soter) lay in Caria : 
Aphrodisias is placed by Strabo on the Phrygian side of the 
frontier; by Pliny, on the Carian. 

620 



BOOK III. Lxi.-iAii. 

of the temple had been enhanced, with the permis- 
sion of Hercules, while he held the crown of Lydia ; 
its privileges had not been diminished under the 
Persian empire ; later, they had been preserved by 
the Macedonians — last by ourselves." 

LXII. Tlie Magnesians,'^ who followed, rested their 
case on the ruhngs of Lucius Scipio and Lucius 
Sulla, w^ho, after their defeats of Antiochus and 
Mithridates respectively,^ had honoured the loyalty 
and coiu-age of Magnesia by making the shrine of 
Leucophryne Diana ^ an inviolable refuge. Next, 
Aphrodisias and Stratonicea* adduced a decree of 
the dictator Julius in return for their early services 
to his cause, together with a modern rescript of 
the deified Augustus, who praised the unchanging 
fidelity to the Roman nation ^nth which they had 
sustained the Parthian inroad.^ Aphrodisias, how- 
ever, was championing the cult of Venus ; Stratonicea, 
that of Jove and Diana of the Crossways. The 
statement of Hierocaesarea ^ went deeper into the 
past : the community owned a Persian Diana ' with 
a temple dedicated in the reign of Cyrus ; and there 
were references to Perpenna,^ Isauricus,^ and many 
other commanders who had allowed the same sanctity 
not only to the temple but to the neighbourhood for 
two miles round. The Cypriotes followed with an 
appeal for three shrines — the oldest erected by their 

* Under Q. Labieuus and the Parthian prince Pacorus, in 
40 B.C. Tacitus' sentence obscures the fact that the decree of 
Julius referred only to Aphrodisias ; that of Augusttis only to 
Stratonicea. 

« In Lydia. ' Analtis. 

* Defeated and captured Aristonicus of Pergamum in 130 b.c. 

* P. Servilius Vatia Isauricus, consul with Caesar in 48 B.c. ; 
proconsul of Asia two years later. 

621 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

Paphiae \^eneri auctor Aerias, post filius eius Ama- 
thus Veneri Amathusiae et lovi Salaminio Teucer, 
Telamonis patris ira profugus, posuissent. 

LXIII. Auditae aliarum quoque civitatium lega- 
tiones. Quorum copia fessi patres, et quia studiis 
certabatur, consulibus pemiisere ut, perspecto iure 
et si qua iniquitas involveretur, rem integram rur- 
sum ad senatum referrent. Consules super eas civi- 
tates quas memoravi apud Pergamum Aeseulapii 
compertum asylum rettulerunt, ceteros obscuris ob 
vetustatem initiis niti. Nam Zmyrnaeos oraculuni 
Apollinis, cuius imperio Stratonicidi Veneri, tem- 
plum dicaverint, Tenios eiusdem carmen referre 
quo sacrare Neptuni effigiem aedemque iussi sint. 
Propiora Sardianos : Alexandri victoris id donuni. 
Neque minus Milesios Dareo rege niti ; set ^ cultus 
numinum utrisque Dianam aut Apollinem venerandi. 
Petere et Cretenses simulacro divi Augusti. Fac- 
taque senatus consulta quis multo cum honore modus 
tamen praescribebatur, iussique ipsis in templis 
figere aera sacrandam ad memoriam, neu specie 
religionis in ambitionem delaberentur. 

LXIV. Sub idem tempus luliae, Augustae vale- 
tudo atrox necessitudinem principi fecit festinati 
in urbem reditus, sincera adhuc inter matrem filium- 

^ rege niti set Lipsius : regi utiset. 

^ See Hist. II. 3 (Titus' visit to the shrine). The image 
(ivfipoXiKios ISpvixevov, Philostr. V.A. III. fin.) was apparently a 
conical stone (though see Max. Tyr. viii. 8 : 17 8e vX-rj dyvoeiTai). 

2 In Mysia; the seat of the famous Hellenistic kingdom 
bequeathed to the Roman people by Attalus Philometor (133 
B.C.). The name survives as Bergama. 

^ Tino[s] in the Cyclades, which were attached to the 
province of Asia. 

* See above, chap. 31. 
622 



BOOK III. Lxii.-Lxiv. 

founder Aerias to the Paphian Venus ; ^ the second by 
his son Amathus to the Amathusian Venus; and a 
third by Teucer, exiled by the anger of his father 
Telamon, to Jove of Salamis. 

LXIII. Deputations from other states were heard 
as well; till the Fathers, weary of the details, and 
disliking the acrimony of the discussion, empowered 
the consuls to investigate the titles, in search of any 
latent flaw, and to refer the entire question back to 
the senate. Their report was that — apart from the 
communities I have already named — they were 
satisfied there was a genuine sanctuaiy of Aesculapius 
at Pergamum ; ^ other claimants relied on pedigrees 
too ancient to be clear. " For Smyrna cited an 
oracle of Apollo, at whose command the town had 
dedicated a temple to Venus Stratonicis ; Tenos,^ a 
prophecy from the same source, ordering the conse- 
cration of a statue and shrine to Neptune. Sardis 
touched more familiar ground ^ith a grant from the 
victorious Alexander ; Miletus had equal confidence 
in King Darius. With these two, however, the 
divine object of adoration was Diana in the one case, 
Apollo in the other. The Cretans, again, were 
claiming for an effigy of the deified Augustus." The 
senate, accordingly, passed a number of resolutions, 
scrupulously comphmentary, but still imposing a 
limit; and the applicants were ordered to fix the 
brass records actually inside the temples, both as a 
solemn memorial and as a warning not to lapse into 
secular intrigue under the cloak of religion. 

LXIV. About the same time, a serious illness of 
Julia Augusta made it necessary for the emperor 
to hasten his return* to the capital, the harmony 
between mother and son being still genuine, or 

623 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

que Concordia sive occultis odiis. Neque enim multo 
ante, cum haud procul theatro Marcelli effigiem divo 
Augusto lulia dicaret, Tiberi nomen suo postscrip- 
serat idque ille credebatur ut inferius maiestate 
principis gravi et dissimulata ofFensione abdidisse. 
Set turn supplicia dis ludique magni ab senatu decer- 
nuntur, quos pontifices et augures et quindecimviri , 
septcmviris simul et sodalibus Augustalibus, ederent. 
Censuerat L, Apronius ut fetiales quoque iis ludis 
praesiderent. Contra dixit Caesar, distinoto sacer- 
dotiorum iure et repetitis exemplis : neque enim 
uniquam fetialibus hoc maiestatis fuisse. Ideo 
Augustalis adiectos quia proprium eius domus 
saeerdotium esset pro qua vota persolverentur. 

LXV. Exequi sententias haud institui nisi insi- 
gnis per honestum aut notabih dedecore, quod prac- 
cipuum munus annalium reor ne virtutes sileantur 
utque pravis dictis factisque ex posteritate et infa- 
niia metus sit. Ceterum tempora ilia adeo infect a 
et adulatione sordida fuere ut non modo primores 
civitatis, quibus claritudo sua obsequiis protegenda 
erat, sed omnes consulares, magna pars eorum qui 
praetura functi multique etiam pedarii senatoves cer- 

^ Fast. Praenest. (VIII Kal. Mai.) : — Signum divo Augusta 
patri ad theatrum Marcelli lulia Augusta et Ti. Augustus 
dedicarunt. 

2 The pontifices, augures,-&iid quindecimviri (entrusted with 
the charge of the Sibylline books and a general supervision of 
foreign cults), together with the sepiemviri — originally tresviri — 
epuhnes (instituted in 196 b.c. to manage the sacred epulae, 
and now ten in number) constituted the four great priestly 
colleges. For the Augustales, see I. 64. 

3 Their functions (now largely obsolete) were concerned with 
international formalities — declarations of war, conclusions of 
treaties, etc. See, for instance, Livy, I. 24; ib. 32; XXX. 
43; Gell. XVI. 4. 

624 



BOOK III. Lxiv.-Lxv. 

their hatred concealed : for a little earlier, Julia, T 
in dedicating an effigy to the deified Augustus not 
far from the Theatre of Marcellus, had placed 
Tiberius' name after her own in the inscription ; ^ and 
it was believed that, taking the act as a derogation 
from the imperial dignity, he had locked it in his 
breast Avith grave and veiled displeasure. Now, 
however, the senate gave orders for a solemn inter- 
cession and the celebration of the Great Games — 
the latter to be exhibited by the pontiffs, the augurs, 
and the Fifteen, assisted by the Seven and by the 
Augustal fratexTiities.^ Lucius Apronius had moved 
that the Fetials ^ should also preside at the Games. 
The Caesar opposed, drawing a distinction between 
the prerogatives of the various priesthoods, adducing 
precedents, and pointing out that " the Fetials had 
never had that degree of dignity, while the Augustals 
had only been admitted among the others because 
theirs was a special priesthood of the house for which 
the intercession was being offered." 

LXV. It is not my intention to dwell upon any 
senatorial motions save those either remarkable for 
their nobility or of memorable turpitude ; in which 
case they fall within my conception of the first duty 
of history — to ensure that merit shall not lack its 
record and to hold before the vicious word and deed 
the terrors of posterity and infamy. But so tainted 
was that age, so mean its sycophancy, that not only 
the great personages of the state, who had to shield 
their magnificence by their servility, but all senators 
of consular rank, a large proportion of the ex- 
praetors, many ordinary members * even, vied with 

* Probably senators who had not held a curule office : the 
term was obscure even to Vano (GeU. III. 18). 

625 
VOL. II. S S 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

tatim exsurgerent foedaque et nimia censerent. 
Memoriae proditur Tiberium, qwoties curia egredere- 
tur, Graecis verbis in hunc modum eloqui solitum : 
" O homines ad servitutem paratos ! " Scilicet etiam 
ilium qui libertatem publicam nollet tam proiectae 
servientium patientiae taedebat. 

LXVI. Paulatim dehinc ab indecoris ad infesta 
transgrediebantur. C. Silanum pro consule Asiae 
repetundarum a sociis postulatum Mamercus Scau- 
rus e consularibus, Junius Otho praetor, Bruttedius 
Niger aedilis simul corripiunt obiectantque viola- 
tum Augusti numen, spretam Tiberii maiestatem, 
Mamercus antiqua exempla iaciens, L. Cottam a 
Scipione Africano, Servium Galbam a Catone cen- 
sorio, P. Rutilium a M. Scauro accusatos. Videlicet 
Scipio et Cato talia ulciscebantur aut ille Scaurus, 
quern proavum suum obprobrium maiorum Mamercus 
infami opera dehonestabat. lunio Othoni littera- 
riuni ludum exercere vetus ars fuit : mox Seiani 
potentia senator obscura initia impudentibus ausis 
prope polluebat.^ Bruttedium artibus honestis 
copiosum et, si rectum iter pergeret, ad clarissima 
quaeque iturum festinatio exstimulabat, dum 
aequalis, dein superiores, postremo suasmet ipse 

^ prope poUuebat B. Seyffert {alii alia): propoUuebat. 



1 I. 13 ; III. 23 and 31 ; VI. 9 and 29. 

* By perjury : see I. 73. 

3 Between 132 and 129 B.C. (Cic. -pro. Mur. 28). 
<• 149 B.C. (Cic. Bmt. 23). 
•' 116B.C. (Cic. 5rui. 30). 

* It is difficult to believe in the compound propolluebai, 
though the conjecture inserted in the text has no claim to 
certainty : other suggestions are occullebat (Madvig), porro 
poUiiehat (Lipsius), idtro polluehat (Ritter). As to Otho, it is 

626 



BOOK III. Lxv.-Lxvi. 

one another in rising to move the most repulsive and 
extravagant resolutions. The tradition runs that 
Tiberius, on leaving the curia, had a habit of ejaculat- 
ing in Greek, "These men! — how ready they are 
for slavery! " Even he, it was manifest, objecting 
though he did to public liberty, was growing weary 
of such grovelHng patience in his slaves. 

LXVI. Then, step by step, they passed from the 
degrading to the brutal. Gaius Silanus, the pro- 
consul of Asia, accused of extortion by the pro- 
vincials, was attacked simultaneously by the ex-consul 
Mamercus Scaurus,^ the praetor Junius Otho, and 
the aedile Bruttedius Niger, who flung at him the 
charge of \-iolating the godhead of Augustus ^ and 
spuming the majesty of Tiberius, while Mamercus 
made play with the precedents of antiquity — the 
indictment of Lucius Cotta by Scipio Africanus,' of 
Servius Galba by Cato the Censor,* of PubHus RutiUus 
by Marcus Scaurus.^ Such, as all men know, were 
the crimes avenged by Scipio and Cato or the famous 
Scaurus, the great-grandsire of Mamercus, whom that 
reproach to his ancestors dishonoured by his infamous 
activity ! Junius Otho's old profession had been to 
keep a school : afterwards, created a senator by the 
influence of Sejanus, by his effrontery and audacity 
he brought further ignominy, if possible, upon the 
meanness of his beginnings.® Bruttedius, amply pro- 
vided with liberal accomplishments, and bound, if 
he kept the straight road, to attain all distinctions, 
was goaded by a spirit of haste, which impelled him 
to outpace first his equals, then his superiors, and 

known from the elder Seneca that he roae to be a rhetorician 
of some eminence. The tribune, Junius Otho, of VI^ 47, is 
his son. 

627 
882 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

spes antire parat ; quod multos etiam bonos pessum 
dedit, qui spretis quae tarda cum securitate, prae- 
matura vel cum exitio properant. 

LXVII. Auxere numerum accusatorum Gellius 
Publicola et M. Paconius, ille quaestor Silani, hie 
legatus. Nee dubium habebatur saevitiae captarum- 
que peeuniarum teneri reum ; sed multa adgereban- 
tur etiam insontibus periculosa, cum super tot sena- 
tores adversos facundissimis totius Asiae eoque ad 
accusandum deleetis responderet solus et orandi 
nescius, proprio in metu qui ex^rcitam quoque elo- 
quentiam debilitat, non temperante Tiberio quin 
premeret voce, vultu, eo quod ipse creberrime inter- 
rogabat, neque refellere aut eludere dabatur, ac 
saepe etiam confitendum erat ne frustra quaesivisset. 
Servos quoque Silani, ut tormentis interrogarentur, 
actor publicus mancipio acceperat. Et ne quis 
necessariorum iuvaret periclitantem maiestatis cri- 
mina subdebantur, vinclum et necessitas silendi. 
Igitur petito paucorum dierum interiectu defen- 
sionem sui deseruit, ausis ad Caesarem codicillis 
quibus invidiam et preces miscuerat. 

LXVIII. Tiberius quae in Silanum parabat quo 
excusatius sub exemplo acciperentur, libellos divi 



^ It is inferred from Juv. X. 81 sgq. that he was one of those 
to whom the fall of Sejanus proved fatal. 
2 See II. 30. 

628 



BOOK III. Lxvr.-Lxvin. 

finally his own ambitions : an infirmity fatal to many, 
even of the good, who, disdaining the sure and slow, 
force a prematm-e success, though destruction may 
accompany the prize. ^ 

LXVII. The number of the accusers was swelled by 
GelHus Publicola and Marcus Paconius, the former 
the quaestor of Silanus, the latter his legate. No 
doubt was felt that the defendant was guilty on the 
counts of cruelty and malversation ; but there were 
many additional circumstances, which would have 
imperilled even the innocent. Over and above the 
array of hostile senators were the most fluent advo- 
cates of all Asia, selected, as such, to press the 
charge ; and to these was replpng a solitary man, 
devoid of forensic knowledge, and beset by that 
personal fear which enfeebles even professional 
eloquence : for Tiberius did not scruple to injure his 
case, by word, by look, by the fact that he himself 
was most assiduous in his questions, which it was 
permissible neither to refute nor to elude, while 
often an admission had to be made, lest the sovereign 
should have asked in vain. Further, to allow the 
examination of his slaves under tortiure, they had 
been formally sold to the treasury-agent ^ ; and, lest 
a single friend should come to his help in the hour of 
peril, charges of treason were subjoined — a binding 
and inevitable argument for silence. He requested, 
therefore, an inter\-al of a few days, and threw up 
his defence, first hazarding a note to the Caesar in 
which he had minsrled reproaches with petitions. 

LXVUI. Tiberius, in order that the measures he 
was preparing against Silanus might come with the 
better grace through being supported by a precedent, 
ordered the bill in which the deified Augustus had 

629 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

Augusti de Voleso Messala eiusdem Asiae pro con- 
sule factumque in eum senatus con-sultum recitari 
iubet. Turn L. Pisoneni sententiam rogat. Ille 
inultum de dementia principis praefatus aqua atque 
igni Silano interdicendum censuit ipsumque in insu- 
lam Gyarum relegandum. Eadem ceteri, nisi quod 
Cn. Lentulus separanda Silani materna bona, quippe 
Atia 1 parente geniti, reddendaque filio dixit, 
adnuente Tiberio, 

LXIX. At Cornelius Dolabella, dum adulationem 
longius sequitur, increpitis C. Silani moribus addidit 
ne quis vita probrosus et opertus infamia provinciam 
sortiretur, idque princeps diiudicaret. Nam a legi- 
bus delicta puniri ; quanto fore mitius in ipsos, me- 
lius in socios, provideri ne peccaretur ? Adversum 
quae disseruit Caesar : non quidem sibi ignara quae 
de Silano vulgabantur, sed non ex rumore statuen- 
dum. Multos in provinciis contra quam spes aut 
metus de illis fuerit egisse : exeitari quosdam ad 
nieliora magnitudine rerum, hebescere alios. Neque 
posse principem sua scientia cuncta compleeti neque 
expedire ut ambitione aliena trahatur. Ideo leges 
in facta constitui quia futura in incerto sint. Sic 

1 Atia Mndvig : alia. 

1 L. Valerius Messala Volesus, proconsul of Asia ca, 12 a.d. 
Seneca couples him with Phalaris and Hannibal as a type of 
blood tliirstiness {de ira 5). 

'■^ A rock-bound islet in the Aegean, which served, with 
others, as a Roman St. Helena (see Juv. I. 73, Mayor). The 
modern name is Giura (Jura), and ara Fiovpa is, or was, a 
Romaic equivalent of jSaAA' h Kopcucas (Coraes on Isocr. 
Aeginef. init.). 

' The gens of Augustus' mother — daughter of M. Atius 
Balbus and Caesar's sister Julia. 

630 



BOOK III. Lxviii.-Lxix. 

indicted Volesus Messala,^ another proconsul of Asia, 
to be read aloud, together Avith the decree registered 
against him by the senate. He then asked Lucius 
Piso for his opinion. After a long preface devoted 
to the sovereign's clemency, he declared for the out- 
la>vry of Silanus from fire and water and his relegation 
to the isle of Gyarus.^ So, too, the others ; vith the 
exception of Gnaeus Lentulus, who moved that, so 
far as the property of Silanus had been derived from 
his mother, it should, as she came of the Atian house,^ 
be treated as distinct from the rest and restored to 
his son. 

LXIX. Tiberius approved ; but Cornelius Dola- 
bella, to pursue the sycophancy further, proposed, 
after an attack on Silanus' character, that no man of 
scandalous life and bankrupt reputation should be 
eligible for a province, the decision in such cases to 
rest with the emperor. " For dehnquencies were 
punished by the law ; but how much more merciful 
to the delinquent, how much better for the pro- 
vincial, to provide against all irregularities before- 
hand! " The Caesar spoke in opposition: — " True, 
the reports \\-ith regard to Silanus were not unknown 
to him ; but judgments could not be based on rumour. 
Many a man by his conduct in his proAlnce had 
reversed the hopes or fears entertained concerning 
him : some natures were roused to better things by 
great position, others became sluggish. It was 
neither possible for a prince to comprehend every- 
thing within his own knowledge, nor desirable that 
lie should be influenced by the intrigues of others. 
The reason why laws were made retrospective to- 
wards the thing done was that things to be were 
indeterminable. It was on this principle their fore- 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

a maioribus institutum ut, si antissent delicta, poenae 
sequerentur : ne verterent sapienter reperta et 
semper placita. Satis onerum principibus, satis etiam 
potentiae : minui iura^ quotiens gliscat potestas, 
nee utendum imperio ubi legibus agi possit. Quanto 
rarior apud Tiberium popularitas, tanto laetiori- 
ribus animis accepta. Atque ille prudens moderandi, 
si propria ira non impelleretur, addidit insulam 
Gyarum immitem et sine cultu hominum esse : 
darent luniae familiae et vii'o quondam ordinis 
eiusdem ut Cythnum potius concederet. Id soro- 
rem quoque Silani Torquatam, priscae sanctimo- 
niae virginem expetere. In banc sententiam facta 
discessio, 

LXX. Post auditi Cyrenenses et accusante An- 
chario Prisco Caesius Cordus repetundarum damna- 
tur. L. Ennium equitem Romanum, maiestatis 
postulatum quod effigiem principis promiscum ad 
usum argenti vertisset, recipi Caesar inter reos 
vetuit, palam aspernante Ateio Capitone quasi per 
libertatem. Non enim debere eripi patribus vim 
statuendi neque tantum maleficium impune haben- 
dum. Sane lentus in suo dolore esset : rei publicae 
iniurias ne largiretur. Intellexit haec Tiberius, ut 

^ minui iura Lipsius : minutiira. 

^ A larger island, south of Ceos (commonly 6epiud, but now 
again officially Kv9vos). 

2 Since no objection to the proposal could be expected, the 
division (discessio) was taken without asking the opinion of 
members in the usual rotation : see Gell. XIV. 7, § 9 and § 13 
(after Varro and Ateius Capito). 

* See chap. 38 : the intervening year had been allowed 
for the collection of evidence. — Cyrene (in conjunction with 
Crete, a senatorial province) was the strip of territory between 
Egypt and " Africa." 

632 



BOOK III. LXIX.-LYX. 

fathei's had ruled that, if an offence had preceded, 
punishment should follow; and they must not now 
overturn a system wisely invented and always 
observed. Princes had enough of burdens — enough, 
even, of power: the rights of the subject shrank as 
autocracy grew ; and, where it was possible to pro- 
ceed by form of law, it was a mistake to employ 
the fiat of the sovereign." These democratic doc- 
trines were hailed with a pleasure answering to their 
rarity on the lips of Tiberius. He himself, tactful 
and moderate when not swayed by personal anger, 
added that " Gyarus was a bleak and uninhabited 
island. Out of consideration for the Junian house 
and for a man once their peer, they might allow him 
to retire to Cythnus^ instead. This was also the 
desire of Silanus' sister Torquata, a Vestal of old- 
world saintliness." The proposal was adopted with- 
out discussion. 2 

LXX. Later, an audience was given to the 
Cyrenaeans, and Caesius Cordus was convicted of 
extortion on the arraignment of Ancharius Priscus.^ 
Lucius Ennius, a Roman knight, found himself in- 
dicted for treason on the ground that he had turned 
a statuette of the emperor to the promiscuous uses 
of household silver.* The Caesar forbade the entry 
of the case for trial, though Ateius Capito ^ protested 
openly and with a display of freedom : for " the right 
of decision ought not to be snatched from the senate, 
nor should so grave an offence pass without punish- 
ment. By all means let the sovereign be easy- 
tempered in a grievance of his own ; but injuries 
to the state he must not condone ! " Tiberius under- 

* By melting it down into plate. 

* See below, chap. 75. 

^33 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

erant magis quam ut dicebantur, perstititque inter- 
cedere. Capito insignitior infamia fuit quod humani 
divinique iuris sciens egregium publicum et bonas 
domi artes dehonestavisset. 

LXXI. Incessit dein religio quonam in templo 
locandum foret donum quod pro valetudine Augus- 
tae equites Romani voverant equestri Fortunae : 
nam etsi delubra eius deae multa in urbe, nullum 
tamen tali cognomento erat. Repertvun est aedem 
esse apud Antium quae sic nuncupai'etur cunctasque 
caerimonias Italicis in oppidis templaque et numi- 
num effigies iuris atque imperii Romani esse. Ita 
donum apud Antium statuitur. Et quoniam de 
religionibus tractabatur, dilatum nuper responsum 
adversus Servium Maluginensem, flaminem Dialem, 
prompsit ^ Caesar recitavitque decretum pontificum, 
quotiens valetudo adversa flaminem Dialem inces- 
sisset, ut pontificis maximi arbitrio plus quam binoo- 
tium abesset, dum ne diebus publici sacrificii neu 
saepius quam bis eundem in annum ; quae prineipc 
Augusto constituta satis ostendebant annuam absen- 
tiam et provinciarum administrationem Dialibus 
non concedi. Memorabaturque L. Metelli pontificis 
maximi exemplum qui Aulum Postumium flami- 
nem attinuisset. Ita sors Asiae in eum qui consu- 
larium Maluginensi proximus erat conlata. 

LXXII. Isdem diebus M.^ Lepidus ab senatu 

1 prompsit Lipsius : promisit. 

^ M. Lepidus Nipperdey : Lepidus. 



^ One vowed in 180 B.C., to commemorate an exploit of the 
Roman cavalry (Liv. XL. 40), and extant nearly 90 years later, 
had presumably perished. 

" Porto d'Anzio. * See chap. 58. 

* In 242 B.C. : he was, however, a flamen of Mars (Liv. Epit. 
XIX.). 

634 



i 



BOOK II. Lxx.-L.\xn. 

stood this for what it was, rather than for what it 
purported to be, and persisted in his veto. The 
degradation of Capito was unusually marked, since, 
authority as he was on secular and reUgious law, he 
was held to have dishonoured not only the fair fame 
of the state but his personal good quahties. 

LXXI. A problem in rehgion now presented itself : 
in what temple were the knights to lodge the offer- 
ing vowed, in connection with Augusta's illness, to 
Equestrian Fortune ? For though shrines to Fortune 
were plentiful in the cit]^', none carried the epithet 
in question.^ It was found that there was a temple 
of the name at Antimn,^ and that all sacred rites in 
the country towns of Italy, with all places of worship 
and divine images, were subject to the jurisdiction 
and authority of Rome. At Antium, accordingly, 
the gift was placed. 

And since points of reUgion were under considera- 
tion, the Caesar pi-oduced his recently deferred 
answer ^ to the Flamen Dialis, Servius Maluginensis ; 
and read a pontifical decree, according to which the 
Flamen, whenever attacked by illness, might at the 
discretion of the supreme pontiff absent himself for 
more than two nights, so long as it was not on days 
of public sacrifice nor oftener than twice in one year. 
The ruhng thus laid down in the principate of 
Augustus showed that a year's absence and a pro- 
vincial governorship were not for the flamens of 
Jupiter. Attention was also called to a precedent 
set by the supreme pontiff, Lucius Metellus; who 
had vetoed the departure of the Flamen, Aulus 
Postumius.* Asia, therefore, was allotted to the 
consular next in seniority to Maluginensis. 

LXXII. Nearly at the same time, Marcus Lepidus 

635 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

petivit ut basilicam Pauli, Aemilia monimenta, pro- 
pria pecunia firmaret ornaretque. Erat etiam turn 
in more publica munificentia ; nee Augustus arcue- 
rat Taurum, Philippum, Balbum hostilis exuvias 
aut exundantis opes ornatum ad urbis et posterum 
gloriam conferre. Quo turn exemplo Lepidus, quam- 
quam pecuniae modicus, avitum decus recoluit. 
At Pompei theatrum igne fortuito haustum Caesar 
exstructurum pollicitus est, eo quod nemo e familia 
restaurando sufficeret, manente tamen nomine Pom- 
pei. Simul laudibus Seianum extulit tamquam 
labore vigilantiaque eius tanta vis unum intra dam- 
num stetisset ; et censuere patres effigiem Seiano 
quae apud theatrum Pompei locaretur. Nequc 
multo post Caesar, cum lunium Blaesum pro con- 
sule Africae triumphi insignibus attolleret, dare id 
se dixit honori Seiani, cuius ille avunculus erat. 
Ac tamen res Blaesi dignae decore tali fuere. 

LXXIII. Nam Tacfarinas, quamquam saepius 
depulsus, reparatis per intima Africae auxiliis hue 
adrogantiae venerat ut legates ad Tiberium mitte- 
ret sedemque ultro sibi atque exercitui suo postu- 
laret aut bcllum inexplicabile minitaretin'. Non 
alias magis sua populique Romani contumelia indo- 



^ Begun in 50 b.c. by the grandfather of Lepidus; com- 
pleted and dedicated by his father ; burnt down in 14 B.C., and 
restored by Augustus and friends of the family. 

^ Suet. Avg. 29 : — With the encouragement of Augustus, 
multa ... a multis extructa sunt, sicnt a Marcio Philippo 
aedes Herculis Musarum ... a Comelio Bdlbo theatrum, a 
Statilio Tauro amfhitheatrum (the first to be constructed of 
stone). 

^ Hence the epigram of Cremutius Cordus : — Tunc vere 
theatrum perire (Sen. con^. ad Marc. 22). 

636 



BOOK II. Lxxii.-Lxxiii. 

asked permission from the senate to strengthen and 
decorate the Basilica of Paulus,^ a monument of the 
Aemihan house, at his own expense. Public munifi- 
cence was a custom still ; nor had Augustus debarred 
a Taiurus, a Philippus, or a Balbus ^ from devoting 
the trophies of his arms or the overflow of his wealth 
to the greater splendour of the capital and the glory 
of posterity : and now Lepidus, a man of but moderate 
fortune, followed in their steps by renovating the 
famous edifice of his fathers. On the other hand, the 
rebiiilding of the Theatre of Pompey, destroyed by a 
casual fire, was imdertaken by the Caesar, on the 
ground that no member of the family was equal to 
the task of restoration : the name of Pompey was, 
however, to remain. At the same time, he gave 
high praise to Sejanus, " through whose energy and 
watchfulness so grave an outbreak had stopped at 
one catastrophe." The Fathers voted a statue to 
Sejanus, to be placed in the Theatre of Pompey.^ 
Again, a short time afterwards, when he was 
honouring Junius Blaesus, proconsul of Africa, with 
the triumphal insignia, he explained that he did so 
as a comphment to Sejanus, of whom Blaesus was 
uncle. — None the less the exploits of Blaesus deserved 
such a distinction. 

LXXIII. For Tacfarinas,* in spite of many repulses, 
having first recruited his forces in the heart of 
Africa, had reached such a pitch of insolence as to 
send an embassy to Tiberius, demanding nothing less 
than a territorial settlement for himself and his army, 
and threatening in the alternative a war from which 
there was no extrication. By all accounts, no insult 
to himself and the nation ever stung the emperor 

* See chap. 32. 

637 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

luisse Caesarem ferunt quam quod desertor et praedo 
hostium more ageret. Ne Spartaco quidem post 
tot consularium exercituum cladis inultam Italiam 
urenti, quamquam Sertorii atque Mithridatis ingen- 
tibus bellis labaret res publica, datum ut pacto in 
fidem acciperetur; nedum pulcherrimo populi Ro- 
man! fastigio latro Tacfarinas pace et concessione 
agrorum redimeretur. Dat negotium Blaeso : ceteros 
quidem ad spem proliceret arma sine noxa ponendi, 
ipsius autem ducis quoquo modo poteretur. Et re- 
cepti ea venia plerique. Mox adversum artes Tac- 
farinatis baud dissimili modo belligeratvun. 

LXXIV. Nam, quia ille robore exercitus impar, 
furandi melior, pluris per globos incursaret eluderet- 
que et insidias simul temptaret, tres incessus, toti- 
dem agmina parantur. Ex quis Cornelius Scipio 
legatus praefuit qua praedatio in Leptitanos et 
sufFugia Garamantum ; alio latere, ne Cirtensium 
pagi impune traherentur, propriam manum Blaesus 
filius duxit ; medio cum delectis, castella et muni- 
tiones idoneis locis imponens, dux ipse arta et infensa 
hostibus cuncta fecerat, quia, quoquo inclinarent, 
pars aliqua militis Romani in ore, in latere et saepe 

1 Leader of the slaves and gladiators in the Servile War 
(73-71 B.C.). Of his half-dozen victories only two were, in 
strictness, over consular armies. 

* Leptis Minor (Lumta) — Leptis Major (Lahda) lying too 
far east to be reached by Tacfarinas, though it would be nearer 
the Garamantes (in Fezzan). 

' See I. 19. 

* The principal town in Numidia : later Gonstantina, now 
Constantino. 

638 



BOOK III. Lxxiii.-Lxxiv. 

more than this spectacle of a deserter and bandit 
aping the procedure of an unfriendly power. " Even 
Spartacus,^ after the annihilation of so many consular 
armies, when his fires were blazing through an Italy 
unavenged while the commonwealth reeled in the 
gigantic conflicts with Sertorius and Mithridates, — • 
even Spartacus was not accorded a capitulation upon 
terms. And now, at the glorious zenith of the 
Roman nation, was this brigand Tacfarinas to be 
bought off by a peace and a cession of lands? " He 
handed over the affair to Blaesus ; who, while induc- 
ing the other rebels to believe they might sheathe 
the sword with impunity, was to capture the leader 
by any means whatsoever. Large numbers came in 
under the amnesty. Then, the arts of Tacfarinas 
were met by a mode of warfare akin to his own. 

LXXI\'. Since it was noticed that the African, 
overmatched in solid fighting strength but more 
expert in the petty knaveries of war, operated with 
a number of bands, first attacking, then vanishing, 
and always manoeu\Ting for an ambuscade, arrange- 
ments were made for three forward movements and 
three columns to execute them. One, in charge of 
the legate Cornelius Scipio, held the road by which 
the enemy raided the Leptitanians ^ and then fell 
back upon the Garamantians. On another side, the 
younger Blaesus ^ marched with his own di\'ision to 
prevent the hamlets of Cirta^ from being ravaged 
with impunity. In the centre, with the flower of 
the troops, was the commander himself; who, bv 
securing the appropriate positions with fortresses or 
entrenchments, had rendered the whole district 
cramped and dangerous for his enemies. Turn where 
they would, they found some part of the Roman 

639 



THE ANNALS OF TACITUS 

a tergo erat ; multique eo modo caesi aut circumventi. 
Tunc tripertitum exercitum pluris in manus disper- 
git praeponitque centuriones virtutis expertae. 
Nee, ut mos fuerat, acta aestate retrahit copias aut 
in hibernaculis veteris provinciae componit, sed ut in 
limine belli dispositis castellis per expedites et soli- 
tudinum gnaros mutantem mapalia Tacfarinatem 
proturbabat, donee fratre eius capto regressus est, 
properantius tamen quam ex utilitate sociorum, 
relictis per quos resurgeret bellum. Sed Tiberius 
pro confecto interpretatus id quoque Blaeso tribuit 
ut imperator a legionibus salutaretur, prisco erga 
duces honore qui bene gesta re publica gaudio et 
impetu victoris exercitus conclamabantur ; erantque 
plures simul imperatores nee super ceteroruni 
aequalitatem. Concessit quibusdam et Augustus id 
yocabulum ac tunc Tiberius Blaeso postremuni. 

LXXV. Obiere eo anno viri inlustres Asinius 
Saloninus, Marco Agrippa et Pollione Asinio avis, 
fratre Druso insignis Caesarique progener destinatus, 
et Capito Ateius, de quo memoravi, principem in 
civitate locum studiis civilibus adsecutus, sed avo 



^ Tke original province of Africa (annexed in 146 B.C.) had 
comprised merely the shrunken territories still held by 
Carthage immediately before her fall. Tripoli was a later 
accretion : then, after Thapsus (46 B.C.), the Cirta district, 
together with most of Numidia, became a separate command 
(" New Africa "), which in 25 B.C. w&s incorporated with the 
" Old Province." 

- But not, apparently, after the formal institution of the 
principate in 27 B.C. 

' He was the son of Asinius GaUus and Vipsania (daughter 
of Agrippa and first wife of Tiberius) and was to have manied 
a daughter of Germanicus. 

* I. 76 and 79 j above, chap. 70. 

640 



BOOK III. LXXIV.-LXXV. 

forces — on the front, on the flank, often in the rear ; 
and numbers were destroyed or entrapped by these 
methods. Next, he subdivided his tripartite army 
into yet more nmnerous detachments, headed by 
centurions of tested courage. Not even when sum- 
mer was spent would he fall in with custom by 
^^ithdrawing his men and quartering them for a 
winter's rest in the Old Province.^ Precisely as 
though he stood on the threshold of a campaign, he 
arranged his chain of forts, and with flying colimins 
of men famihar with the deserts kept hounding 
Tacfarinas from one desert camp to another ; until 
at last, after capturing the renegade's brother, he 
retmmed ; too hastily, however, for the interests of 
the pro\Tnce, since he left those behind him who 
were capable of resuscitating the war. Tiberius, 
however, chose to treat it as ended, and even con- 
ferred on Blaesus the privilege of being saluted 
Imperator by his legions : a time-honoured tribute 
to generals who, after a successful campaign, were 
acclaimed by the joyful and spontaneous voice of 
a conquering army. Several might hold the title 
simultaneously, nor did it raise them above an 
equahty -with their colleagues. It was awarded in a 
few cases even by Augustus ^ ; and now for the last 
time Tiberius assigned it to Blaesus. 

LXXV. This year saw the passing of two famous 
men: one, Asinius Saloninus, distinguishe